“Alexa, what do you do for fun?” Characterizing playful requests with virtual assistants

Victoria D. Doty

Digital assistants this kind of as Siri or Alexa are an inseparable component of our life these days. Nonetheless, they still struggle with some utterances. For instance, virtual assistants simply cannot reply to humorous requests, like a user inquiring to acquire a brain. A new paper indicates employing scientific theories of humor to characterize these requests.

Image credit rating: Y2kcrazyjoker4 by way of Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.)

A taxonomy of playful utterance types, pushed by real-world data from Alexa, was introduced. The researchers concentrated on a certain component of taxonomy, the personification of the virtual assistant as a human, for a user analyze. The design automatically determined personifying utterances. Guide responses have been generated if the design detected utterances that simply cannot be addressed by predefined responses. It was demonstrated that the user working experience is enhanced when the virtual assistant understands their playful utterances and responds appropriately.

Digital assistants this kind of as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Residence, and Microsoft’s Cortana, are starting to be ubiquitous in our daily life and efficiently enable people in different daily duties, this kind of as making phone phone calls or taking part in new music. But, they still struggle with playful utterances, which are not meant to be interpreted pretty much. Illustrations contain jokes or absurd requests or thoughts this kind of as, “Are you fearful of the dark?”, “Who let the canines out?”, or “Order a zillion gummy bears”. Now, virtual assistants generally return irrelevant responses to this kind of utterances, besides for tough-coded ones addressed by canned replies.
To deal with the problem of automatically detecting playful utterances, we very first characterize the distinct types of playful human-virtual assistant interaction. We introduce a taxonomy of playful requests rooted in theories of humor and refined by analyzing real-world targeted visitors from Alexa. We then concentration on one node, personification, the place people refer to the virtual assistant as a individual (“What do you do for exciting?”). Our conjecture is that comprehending this kind of utterances will boost user working experience with virtual assistants. We performed a Wizard-of-Oz user analyze and showed that endowing virtual assistant s with the potential to establish humorous alternatives in truth has the probable to increase user gratification. We hope this perform will lead to the comprehending of the landscape of the challenge and inspire novel tips and approaches in direction of the vision of giving virtual assistants a feeling of humor.

Exploration paper: Shani, C., Libov, A., Tolmach, S., Lewin-Eytan, L., Maarek, Y., and Shahaf, D., “”Alexa, what do you do for exciting?” Characterizing playful requests with virtual assistants”, 2021. Backlink: https://arxiv.org/abdominal muscles/2105.05571


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