Skip to main content

Machine Processing of Dialogue States; Speculations on Conversational Entropy

  • Conference paper
  • First Online:
Speech and Computer (SPECOM 2016)

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science ((LNAI,volume 9811))

Included in the following conference series:

Abstract

This keynote talk presents some ideas about ‘conversational’ speaking machines, illustrated with examples from the Herme dialogues. Herme was a small device that initiated conversations with passers-by in the Science Gallery at Trinity College in Dublin and managed to engage the majority in short conversations lasting approximately three minutes. No speech recognition was employed. Experience from that data collection and analyses of human-human conversational interactions has led us to consider a theory of Conversational Entropy wherein tight couplings become looser through time as topics decay and are refreshed by speaker changes and conversational restarts. Laughter is a particular cue to this decay mechanism and might prove to be sufficient information for machines to intrude into human conversations without causing offence.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

Notes

  1. 1.

    There was a large screen behind Herme’s stand showing passers-by what she could see, with a coloured circle drawn around each face in the scene.

  2. 2.

    A Roland Sound Canvas.

  3. 3.

    Lectures delivered under the auspices of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies at Trinity College, Dublin, in February 1943.

  4. 4.

    The idea that household devices might be capable of eavesdropping on nearby conversations is rightly anathema to many kitchen owners and occupants.

References

  1. Tabletalk is a multimodal multimedia corpus of free flowing natural conversations, recorded at the advanced telecommunication research labs in Japan (2005). http://sspnet.eu/2010/02/freetalk/

  2. Bonin, F.: Unpublished Ph.D. thesis: “Content and Context in Conversations: The Role of Social and Situational Signals in Conversation Structure”. Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (2015)

    Google Scholar 

  3. Gibbs, J.W.: A method of geometrical representation of the thermodynamic properties of substances by means of surfaces. Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences (1873)

    Google Scholar 

  4. McCowan, I., Carletta, J., Kraaij, W., Ashby, S., Bourban, S., Flynn, M., Guillemot, M., Hain, T., Kadlec, J., Karaiskos, V., et al.: The AMI meeting corpus. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research, vol. 88 (2005)

    Google Scholar 

  5. Schrödinger, E.: What Is Life? the physical aspect of the living cell and mind. Dublin (1943)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

This research is supported by Science Foundation Ireland under Grant No. 13/RC/2016, through the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology (www.adaptcentre.ie) at Trinity College, Dublin. We are grateful to the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin for their support of the Speech Communication Lab.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nick Campbell .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

About this paper

Cite this paper

Campbell, N. (2016). Machine Processing of Dialogue States; Speculations on Conversational Entropy. In: Ronzhin, A., Potapova, R., Németh, G. (eds) Speech and Computer. SPECOM 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 9811. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-43958-7_2

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-43958-7_2

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-43957-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-43958-7

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics