CONVERSATIONS 201 is a full-day workshop on chatbot research. It will take place on November 19, 2019 at the University of Amsterdam. From the description: „Chatbots are conversational agents which allow the user access to information and services though natural language dialogue, through text or voice. … Research is crucial in helping realize the potential of chatbots as a means of help and support, information and entertainment, social interaction and relationships. The CONVERSATIONS workshop contributes to this endeavour by providing a cross-disciplinary arena for knowledge exchange by researchers with an interest in chatbots.“ The topics of interest that may be explored in the papers and at the workshop include humanlike chatbots, networks of users and chatbots, trustworthy chatbot design and privacy and ethical issues in chatbot design and implementation. The submission deadline for CONVERSATIONS 2019 was extended to September 10. More information via conversations2019.wordpress.com/.
The papers of the CHI 2019 workshop „Conversational Agents: Acting on the Wave of Research and Development“ (Glasgow, 5 May 2019) are now listed on convagents.org. The extended abstract by Oliver Bendel (School of Business FHNW) entitled „Chatbots as Moral and Immoral Machines“ can be downloaded here. The workshop brought together experts from all over the world who are working on the basics of chatbots and voicebots and are implementing them in different ways. Companies such as Microsoft, Mozilla and Salesforce were also present. Approximately 40 extended abstracts were submitted. On 6 May, a bagpipe player opened the four-day conference following the 35 workshops. Dr. Aleks Krotoski, Pillowfort Productions, gave the first keynote. One of the paper sessions in the morning was dedicated to the topic „Values and Design“. All in all, both classical specific fields of applied ethics and the young discipline of machine ethics were represented at the conference. More information via chi2019.acm.org.
„In the last five years, work on software that interacts with people via typed or spoken natural language, called chatbots, intelligent assistants, social bots, virtual companions, non-human players, and so on, increased dramatically. Chatbots burst into prominence in 2016. Then came a wave of research, more development, and some use. The time is right to assess what we have learned from endeavoring to build conversational user interfaces that simulate quasi-human partners engaged in real conversations with real people.“ (Website Conversational Agents) The CHI 2019 workshop „Conversational Agents: Acting on the Wave of Research and Development“ (Glasgow, 5 May) brings together people „who developed or studied various conversational agents, to explore themes that include what works (and hasn’t) in home, education, healthcare, and work settings, what we have learned from this about people and their activities, and social or ethical possibilities for good or risk“ (Website Conversational Agents). Oliver Bendel will present three chatbots developed between 2013 and 2018 in the discipline of machine ethics, GOODBOT, LIEBOT and BESTBOT. More information via convagents.org/.