Publication
UIST 2013
Conference paper

Chorus: A crowd-powered conversational assistant

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Abstract

Despite decades of research attempting to establish conversational interaction between humans and computers, the capabilities of automated conversational systems are still limited. In this paper, we introduce Chorus, a crowd-powered conversational assistant. When using Chorus, end users converse continuously with what appears to be a single conversational partner. Behind the scenes, Chorus leverages multiple crowd workers to propose and vote on responses. A shared memory space helps the dynamic crowd workforce maintain consistency, and a game-theoretic incentive mechanism helps to balance their efforts between proposing and voting. Studies with 12 end users and 100 crowd workers demonstrate that Chorus can provide accurate, topical responses, answering nearly 93% of user queries appropriately, and staying on-topic in over 95% of responses. We also observed that Chorus has advantages over pairing an end user with a single crowd worker and end users completing their own tasks in terms of speed, quality, and breadth of assistance. Chorus demonstrates a new future in which conversational assistants are made usable in the real world by combining human and machine intelligence, and may enable a useful new way of interacting with the crowds powering other systems. Copyright © 2013 ACM.

Date

20 Nov 2013

Publication

UIST 2013