Modelling Dialogue: Building Highly Responsive Conversational Agents

Stefan Kopp and David Schlangen

  • Area: LaCo
  • Level: A
  • Week: 2
  • Time: 09:00 – 10:30
  • Room: C2.01 C3.06


Formal semantics and pragmatics, if it goes beyond single speech acts at all, typically starts from an idealised view of dialogue as the exchange of propositions, one coming after another. In reality, dialogue is a much more dynamic and rich activity: people ‘um’ and ‘ah’, finish each other’s utterances, laugh, and gesture, and they engage in dialogue not only (and often, not even predominantly) to exchange information, but to bond and enjoy themselves. For different, but converging reasons, technical systems also try to abstract away from this dynamic and multimodal nature of dialogue. In this course, we will look into the phenomenology of dialogue, and specifically into its nature as something that is co­-constructed and improvised by its participants. We will use computational modelling to gain insights into these phenomena, and also into the perspectives for realising more natural interaction with technical systems.

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