BlahBlahBot: Facilitating Conversation between Strangers using a Chatbot with ML-infused Personalized Topic Suggestion
- Issue Date
- Association for Computing Machinery
- Donghoon Shin, Sangwon Yoon, Soomin Kim, and Joonhwan Lee. 2021. BlahBlahBot: Facilitating Conversation between Strangers using a Chatbot with ML-infused Personalized Topic Suggestion. Extended Abstracts of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 409, 1–6. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3411763.3451771
- It is a prevalent behavior of having a chat with strangers in online settings where people can easily gather. Yet, people often find it difficult to initiate and maintain conversation due to the lack of information about strangers. Hence, we aimed to facilitate conversation between the strangers with the use of machine learning (ML) algorithms and present BlahBlahBot, an ML-infused chatbot that moderates conversation between strangers with personalized topics. Based on social media posts, BlahBlahBot supports the conversation by suggesting topics that are likely to be of mutual interest between users. A user study with three groups (control, random topic chatbot, and BlahBlahBot; N=18) found the feasibility of BlahBlahBot in increasing both conversation quality and closeness to the partner, along with the factors that led to such increases from the user interview. Overall, our preliminary results imply that an ML-infused conversational agent can be effective for augmenting a dyadic conversation.