Good Computational Manners: Mixed-Initiative Dialog in Conversational Agents

Max Louwerse, Art Graesser, Andrew Olney, and the Tutoring Research Group

Polite behavior in intelligent conversational systems requires mixed-initiative dialog. AutoTutor is an intelligent tutoring system in which several of these conversational skills are implemented. This paper discusses some aspects of mixed-initiative dialog, as implemented in AutoTutor ranging from discourse markers, dialog moves and speech acts to question answering. In addition some of the studies will be reported that show the effectiveness of AutoTutor’s conversational skills on pedagogy, conversational smoothness and learning gains.

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