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Attentive speaking- From listener feedback to interactive adaptation

LOCATION:  TEL, Auditorium 1 (20th floor), Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, 10587 Berlin

Date/Time: 03.07.2017, 14:15-15:00

SPEAKER: Hendrik Buschmeier (Bielefeld University)


Dialogue is an interactive and iterative process in which speakers and listeners work towards understanding by jointly coordinating their communicative acts through feedback and adaptation. I will present conceptual and computational models of 'attentive speaking' that enable artificial  conversational agents (1) to probabilistically reason about, infer, and represent their interlocutors' listening related mental states (e.g., their degree of understanding); (2) to interactively adapt their language and behaviour such that their interlocutors' needs, derived from the attributed mental states, are taken into account; and (3) to decide when they need feedback from their interlocutors and how they can elicit it using behavioural cues. I will describe how these models are realised in an incremental behaviour generation architecture for embodied conversational agents, and how the resulting attentive speaker agent is evaluated in a semi-autonomous interaction study.


Hendrik Buschmeier is a PhD-student and research associate in Stefan Kopp’s Social Cognitive Systems Group at the Faculty of Technology, Bielefeld University. He is working in the research project KOMPASS (funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF), where he models ‘socially cooperative’ dialogue behaviour for a virtual assistant for elderly and cognitively impaired people. He has previously worked in the projects ‘Rhythm and Timing in Dialogue’ and ‘Dialogue Coordination for Sociable Agents’ (both DFG-funded).

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