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"chatbots": models, code, and papers

Ensemble-Based Deep Reinforcement Learning for Chatbots

Aug 27, 2019
Heriberto Cuayáhuitl, Donghyeon Lee, Seonghan Ryu, Yongjin Cho, Sungja Choi, Satish Indurthi, Seunghak Yu, Hyungtak Choi, Inchul Hwang, Jihie Kim

Trainable chatbots that exhibit fluent and human-like conversations remain a big challenge in artificial intelligence. Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) is promising for addressing this challenge, but its successful application remains an open question. This article describes a novel ensemble-based approach applied to value-based DRL chatbots, which use finite action sets as a form of meaning representation. In our approach, while dialogue actions are derived from sentence clustering, the training datasets in our ensemble are derived from dialogue clustering. The latter aim to induce specialised agents that learn to interact in a particular style. In order to facilitate neural chatbot training using our proposed approach, we assume dialogue data in raw text only -- without any manually-labelled data. Experimental results using chitchat data reveal that (1) near human-like dialogue policies can be induced, (2) generalisation to unseen data is a difficult problem, and (3) training an ensemble of chatbot agents is essential for improved performance over using a single agent. In addition to evaluations using held-out data, our results are further supported by a human evaluation that rated dialogues in terms of fluency, engagingness and consistency -- which revealed that our proposed dialogue rewards strongly correlate with human judgements.

* arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1908.10331 

Learning Implicit User Profiles for Personalized Retrieval-Based Chatbot

Aug 18, 2021
Hongjin Qian, Zhicheng Dou, Yutao Zhu, Yueyuan Ma, Ji-Rong Wen

In this paper, we explore the problem of developing personalized chatbots. A personalized chatbot is designed as a digital chatting assistant for a user. The key characteristic of a personalized chatbot is that it should have a consistent personality with the corresponding user. It can talk the same way as the user when it is delegated to respond to others' messages. We present a retrieval-based personalized chatbot model, namely IMPChat, to learn an implicit user profile from the user's dialogue history. We argue that the implicit user profile is superior to the explicit user profile regarding accessibility and flexibility. IMPChat aims to learn an implicit user profile through modeling user's personalized language style and personalized preferences separately. To learn a user's personalized language style, we elaborately build language models from shallow to deep using the user's historical responses; To model a user's personalized preferences, we explore the conditional relations underneath each post-response pair of the user. The personalized preferences are dynamic and context-aware: we assign higher weights to those historical pairs that are topically related to the current query when aggregating the personalized preferences. We match each response candidate with the personalized language style and personalized preference, respectively, and fuse the two matching signals to determine the final ranking score. Comprehensive experiments on two large datasets show that our method outperforms all baseline models.

* Accepted by CIKM 2021, codes and dataset will be released at 

Evaluator for Emotionally Consistent Chatbots

Dec 02, 2021
Chenxiao Liu, Guanzhi Deng, Tao Ji, Difei Tang, Silai Zheng

One challenge for evaluating current sequence- or dialogue-level chatbots, such as Empathetic Open-domain Conversation Models, is to determine whether the chatbot performs in an emotionally consistent way. The most recent work only evaluates on the aspects of context coherence, language fluency, response diversity, or logical self-consistency between dialogues. This work proposes training an evaluator to determine the emotional consistency of chatbots.

* 7 pages, 6 charts, 1 figure 

Chatbots as conversational healthcare services

Nov 08, 2020
Mlađan Jovanović, Marcos Baez, Fabio Casati

Chatbots are emerging as a promising platform for accessing and delivering healthcare services. The evidence is in the growing number of publicly available chatbots aiming at taking an active role in the provision of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services. This article takes a closer look at how these emerging chatbots address design aspects relevant to healthcare service provision, emphasizing the Human-AI interaction aspects and the transparency in AI automation and decision making.


Argument Harvesting Using Chatbots

May 11, 2018
Lisa A. Chalaguine, Anthony Hunter, Henry W. W. Potts, Fiona L. Hamilton

Much research in computational argumentation assumes that arguments and counterarguments can be obtained in some way. Yet, to improve and apply models of argument, we need methods for acquiring them. Current approaches include argument mining from text, hand coding of arguments by researchers, or generating arguments from knowledge bases. In this paper, we propose a new approach, which we call argument harvesting, that uses a chatbot to enter into a dialogue with a participant to get arguments and counterarguments from him or her. Because it is automated, the chatbot can be used repeatedly in many dialogues, and thereby it can generate a large corpus. We describe the architecture of the chatbot, provide methods for managing a corpus of arguments and counterarguments, and an evaluation of our approach in a case study concerning attitudes of women to participation in sport.


Chatbot for fitness management using IBM Watson

Dec 30, 2021
Sai Rugved Lola, Rahul Dhadvai, Wei Wang, Ting Zhu

Chatbots have revolutionized the way humans interact with computer systems and they have substituted the use of service agents, call-center representatives etc. Fitness industry has always been a growing industry although it has not adapted to the latest technologies like AI, ML and cloud computing. In this paper, we propose an idea to develop a chatbot for fitness management using IBM Watson and integrate it with a web application. We proposed using Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) along with frameworks of IBM Cloud Watson provided for the Chatbot Assistant. This software uses a serverless architecture to combine the services of a professional by offering diet plans, home exercises, interactive counseling sessions, fitness recommendations.


Implementing a Chatbot Solution for Learning Management System

Jun 30, 2022
Dimitrios Chaskopoulos, Jonas Eilertsen Hægdahl, Petter Sagvold, Claire Trinquet, Maryam Edalati

Innovation is a key component in trying new solutions for the students to learn efficiently and in ways that correspond to their own experience, where chatbots are one of these new solutions. One of the main problem that chatbots face today is to mimic human language, where they try to find the best answer to an input, which is not how a human conversation usually works, rather taking into account the previous messages and building onto them. Extreme programming methodology was chosen to use integrate ChatterBot, Pyside2, web scraping and Tampermonkey into Blackboard as a test case. Problems occurred with the bot and more training was needed for the bot to work perfectly, but the integration and web scraping worked, giving us a chatbot that was able to talk with. We showed the plausibility of integrating an AI bot in an educational setting.

* Keywords: education, eLearning, chatbot, machine learning, artificial intelligence 

Impact of Argument Type and Concerns in Argumentation with a Chatbot

May 02, 2019
Lisa A. Chalaguine, Anthony Hunter, Fiona L. Hamilton, Henry W. W. Potts

Conversational agents, also known as chatbots, are versatile tools that have the potential of being used in dialogical argumentation. They could possibly be deployed in tasks such as persuasion for behaviour change (e.g. persuading people to eat more fruit, to take regular exercise, etc.) However, to achieve this, there is a need to develop methods for acquiring appropriate arguments and counterargument that reflect both sides of the discussion. For instance, to persuade someone to do regular exercise, the chatbot needs to know counterarguments that the user might have for not doing exercise. To address this need, we present methods for acquiring arguments and counterarguments, and importantly, meta-level information that can be useful for deciding when arguments can be used during an argumentation dialogue. We evaluate these methods in studies with participants and show how harnessing these methods in a chatbot can make it more persuasive.


NLP is Not enough -- Contextualization of User Input in Chatbots

May 13, 2021
Nathan Dolbir, Triyasha Dastidar, Kaushik Roy

AI chatbots have made vast strides in technology improvement in recent years and are already operational in many industries. Advanced Natural Language Processing techniques, based on deep networks, efficiently process user requests to carry out their functions. As chatbots gain traction, their applicability in healthcare is an attractive proposition due to the reduced economic and people costs of an overburdened system. However, healthcare bots require safe and medically accurate information capture, which deep networks aren't yet capable of due to user text and speech variations. Knowledge in symbolic structures is more suited for accurate reasoning but cannot handle natural language processing directly. Thus, in this paper, we study the effects of combining knowledge and neural representations on chatbot safety, accuracy, and understanding.


A Scalable Chatbot Platform Leveraging Online Community Posts: A Proof-of-Concept Study

Jan 10, 2020
Sihyeon Jo, Sangwon Im, SangWook Han, Seung Hee Yang, Hee-Eun Kim, Seong-Woo Kim

The development of natural language processing algorithms and the explosive growth of conversational data are encouraging researches on the human-computer conversation. Still, getting qualified conversational data on a large scale is difficult and expensive. In this paper, we verify the feasibility of constructing a data-driven chatbot with processed online community posts by using them as pseudo-conversational data. We argue that chatbots for various purposes can be built extensively through the pipeline exploiting the common structure of community posts. Our experiment demonstrates that chatbots created along the pipeline can yield the proper responses.

* To be Published on the 10th February, 2020, in HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) Conference 2020, Republic of Korea