DIS 2018
Conference paper

Interaction challenges in AI equipped environments built to teach foreign languages through dialogue and task-completion

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As cities around the world become more diverse in culture and language, there is a growing need for learning foreign languages. To further this excitement, we have built a human-scale, immersive room with a virtual AI agent that aids foreign language learning. Our system aids the language learning process through task-completion exercises using multi-modal dialogue. The Cognitive and Immersive Room (CIR) is developed as an immersive Chinese restaurant to teach Mandarin, but the interaction challenges and solutions can be reasonably generalized to other languages taught using similar techniques. As users interact with the immersive environment and the virtual AI agent, they face several user interaction challenges. These challenges arise from new learners' lack of proficiency in the foreign language. By studying user interactions in the CIR, we were able to articulate some of the interaction challenges. We have enhanced the AI agent, virtual environment, and the on-boarding process for new users to mitigate these challenges. The enhancements and the results which show that they were effective are discussed here.