“Shouldn’t I use a polar question?”

Proper Question Forms Disentangling Inconsistencies in Dialogue Systems

This talk reports on the description of a specific class of clarification requests, adopted for the negotiation of grounded information in argumentation-based dialogue systems. Two studies are carried out to prove the adequateness of a specific form of polar question when a presupposition is contradicted by a new evidence. Whereas the first one proves the appropriateness of the negative form, the second one also demonstrates how the use of such a form can affect the principle of robustness, in terms of observability and recoverability, important in human–machine interaction applications. The two studies show that dialogue systems with such capabilities can lead to improved usability and naturalness in conversation. For this reason, I present here a system capable of detecting conflicts and of using argumentation strategies to signal them consistently with previous observations.

Maria Di Maro is a Post-Doc at the University of Naples ‘Federico II’ working on the interaction design for the project BRILLO (Bartending Robot for Interactive Long-Lasting Operations). She got her Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of Naples ‘Federico II’ in 2021 with the dissertation “Shouldn’t I use a polar question? Proper Question Forms Disentangling Inconsistencies in Common Ground”. Her research interests range from corpus collection and pragmatic annotations to computational pragmatics and the modeling of grounding processes in spoken dialogue systems. She is also passionate for Artificial Intelligence in general and graph databases as the vessel for twisted pragmatic reasonings.

When:  13/07/2021 at 11.00

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