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Dialogue (continued). Why do electronic conversations seem less polite? (w/ J. Ohaeri). Experiment : Collaborative Remembering 13 3-person face-to-face groups (speaking) 13 3-person electronic groups (typing) Task : Recall a scene from a movie together. Politeness (Brown & Levinson).
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Why do electronic conversations seem less polite? (w/ J. Ohaeri) Experiment: Collaborative Remembering • 13 3-person face-to-face groups (speaking) • 13 3-person electronic groups (typing) Task: Recall a scene from a movie together
Politeness (Brown & Levinson) Politeness is about giving your partner options. The two sides of politeness: 1. Save your own face 2. Avoid threatening the face of others
Hedges: Markers of provisionality • Hedges may enable people to convey their alignment toward their utterances • This may make it easier for a partner to disagree and still save face. • This in turn may affect politeness. Hedging requires producing additional words
Hedges drop out in re-referring T1 a car, sort of silvery purple colored T2 purplish car going to the left T3 purplish car going left T4 the purplish car T5 the purple car Speakers hedged more when there were more potential conceptualizations of an object. (Brennan & Clark, 1997)
Questions: Another marker • Syntactic questions • Rising intonation or ? punctuation • Tag questions: right?wasn’t it? Questions do not require producing additional words.
Predictions: • Typing is more effortful than speaking. • If communicating by text is depersonalizing, then text conversations should contain lower rates of both hedges and questions. • If the effort explanation is correct, then face-to-face conversations should contain a higher rate of hedges than text conversations, but equal rates of questions.
Examples: Hedges Yeah, they were sitting around the fireplace in the night... sort of like a bedtime story kind of thing. [face-to-face group 4] We all agree it was a wreathy thingy on his neck??? [electronic group 8] We all agree it was in Ireland, I think? [face-to-face group 3]
Examples: Questions • he was cold and almost dead... the women tied him up between two cows... he started to sweat, right? [face-to-face group 4) • M: he began telling the story • S: about when his father was young, when Ireland was being ruled by the British • A: It still is, isn't it? [face-to-face group 10]
M: to attend • D: to attend an English school... um • M: when he was caught whispering something to the boy in Irish? He was punished? • D: ok [face-to-face group 11]
Results • Both kinds of groups recalled equally well. • Speakers produced twice as many words as typists. • Hedge rates were twice as high for speaking as typing. • Question rates were equal for typing and speaking
Converging evidence thatpoliteness is more effortful in text • In the 13 text groups, those who produced more words hedged at higher rates. (r = .55, p < .05) • This correlation was absent in the 13 face-to-face groups.
Conclusions: politeness & effort • Electronic conversations seem less polite not because speakers are “depersonalized”, but because it is harder for them to show their alignment toward their utterances. • Politeness is not a style of interaction that emerges automatically, but results from speakers giving each other specific options.
Conclusions: Mediated communication • Conversation is shaped by its medium • People adapt very rapidly • One person’s behavior shapes the other’s.
Read or review: • CGB chapters so far • Brennan chapter on grounding
Pauses in conversations • One turn often follows another after only 200 milliseconds (or less). • People make attributions about the cause of a pause. • Pauses of .8-1.2 msec. tend to indicate problems (Jefferson). • Longer pauses tend to occur only when people are also eating, driving, etc.
Applications • Cell phone safety • Mediated communication - people don’t make the same attributions to pauses when they can see what their partners are doing! • Survey interviews
Standardized Survey Interviews • Bureau of Labor Statistics census • People are bad at interpreting certain questions (How many bathrooms…?) • Displays of uncertainty can tip off the interviewer as to whether the respondent needs a clarification (Bloom & Schober, 1998)
Standardized Survey Interviews Questions are usually assumed to be independent. But the first question(s) in a survey can anchor you in a way that taints your responses to the rest of the questions. Ex: “How much money do you earn?” ….. “How much do you spend each year on travel?”
Standardized Survey Interviews Michael Schober, Fred Conrad, & colleagues have proposed that surveys should be more like conversations (since people treat them that way anyway).
Standardized Survey Interviews Questions are often ambiguous. • “How many cigarettes have you smoked?” • “How many bedrooms are there in your house? • “How many people live in your household?”
Standardized Survey Interviews Questions are often ambiguous. • “How many cigarettes have you smoked?” • “How many bedrooms are there in your house? • “How many people live in your household?” • “huh?” • “Whatever it means to you!” This is a misguided attempt at objectivity… attempts to standardize can actually lead to lower accuracy.
Standardized Survey Interviews I: And now we’d would like to ask about your employment status . did you do any work . for pay . last week R: . Eh well . I’m still getting paid but school’s out . so . I: Okay s:o . would you say . I mean . *it’s-* R: *well* I: it’s your c*all* R: *I g*ot paid . *for work . but I was*n’t at work I: *okay huh huh huh* hhh okay
Standardized Survey Interviews Complicated questions require clarification. But it’s not a simple matter of requesting clarification. Respondents must also be aware that clarification can be useful! Including a partial definition can be helpful, both in clarifying the intent behind the question and in letting the respondent know it’s a complicated mapping. Alignment is neither automatic nor guaranteed!
Standardized Survey Interviews Replacing standardized interviews with “conversational interviews” improves accuracy. How much information or clarification to provide? (With a live survey, this can get costly…) People give meta-cognitive and non-verbal cues when they’re confused.
Speech gone wrong • On the input side: • For many years, speech recognition systems seemed to be trying to solve a problem that nobody had! • After the novelty wears off, talking appliances are annoying. • It turns out that nobody wants to talk to their VCR. • On the output side: • Nobody wants to listen to a long menu of options. • This can be a problem with automated telephone systems in general, whether spoken or touch-tone.
Speech gone wrong • Noisy environments can be a problem • Dependability can be a problem • Recognition errors • Repair mechanisms • Bad dialog design can be a problem
Speech for the right reasons • Hands busy or disabled? • Eyes busy? • Repetitive task? • Users mobile? • Small screen (phone)? • Blind users?
Good examples of speech applications • CAD on desktop • Hands available for mouse & keyboard tasks • Dictating text (e.g., Dragon Dictates) • For people with RSI or who can’t type • Car’s GPS navigation system (both for output and input - entering destination) • Telephone dialogue systems
Cohen, Giangola, & Balogh on dialog design • Ch. 8, Detailed design methodology • (See CGB, p. 106) • Dialog states • Prompts • Dialog strategies (including repair) • Call flow • Ch. 14, Sample applic. detailed design • (See CGB, p. 232)
Dialog state • The smallest unit in a call flow diagram • May involve a single exchange between caller and system (review: adjacency pairs) • May involve a subdialog (such as clarification or repair) CGB, Ch. 8
Components of a dialog state • The dialog state may consist of an exchange • Caller’s input moves dialog ahead to the next state • Initial prompt(s) - played when the caller reaches that state • Or the state may also involve a subdialog • such as clarification or error handling (repair) • Recognition grammar • Composed of words or expressions and rules for parsing or combining them • Universals • How to handle “help” or “main menu”(etc.) at that state? • Action specification • e.g., access info from database, enter info, or transition to another dialog state CGB, Ch. 8
Designing prompts • It’s essential to listen to your prompts. • Prompts that sound too informal by themselves may sound fine in conversational context. CGB, Ch. 8
Wording prompts: Is it important? • Designing telephone dialogs: Input • It’s helpful to predict the wording a caller will use! (Otherwise, how will you write a grammar?) • Output Jon Bloom on constraining yes/no questions: • Do you need additional information? Please say yes or no. • Yes or no, do you need additional information? How you word the prompts can lead callers to quite different expectations or behaviors!
Prompt design from CGB: • http://www.vuidesign.org/toc.htm
http://www.vuidesign.org/Audio/ch10_5.wav • System:You have five bookmarks. Here's the first bookmark ... Next bookmark ... That was the last bookmark. • Caller:Delete a bookmark. • System:Which bookmark would you like to delete? ... • System:Do you want to delete another bookmark?
http://www.vuidesign.org/Audio/ch10_6.wav • System:You have five bookmarks. Here's the first one ... Next one ... That was the last one. • Caller:Delete a bookmark. • System:Which one would you like to delete? ... • System:Do you want to delete another one?
http://www.vuidesign.org/Audio/ch10_7.wav • Please say the date. • Please say the start time. • Please say the duration. • Please say the subject.
http://www.vuidesign.org/Audio/ch10_8.wav • First, tell me the date. • Next, I'll need the time it starts.Thanks. <pause> • Now, how long is it supposed to last? • Last of all, I just need a brief description ...
“Oh” marks a change in the speaker’s mental state http://www.vuidesign.org/Audio/ch10_13.wav Caller:Go to sports. System:Sure, sports! | Oh, that's not available at the moment, but would you like to try something else instead? http://www.vuidesign.org/Audio/ch10_14.wav Caller:Get my messages. System:Okay, messages. | Oh, looks like you don't have any messages right now.
Difference in “politeness” http://www.vuidesign.org/Audio/ch10_60.wav • You must visit the registration Web site at phone dot ACME Widget dot com. • Please visit the registration Web site at phone dot ACME Widget dot com. • ... but why don't you visit the registration Web site at phone dot ACME Widget dot com. • ... you might want to visit the registration Web site at phone dot ACME Widget dot com.
Pay attention to intonation http://www.vuidesign.org/Audio/ch11_0.wav System:The number you have dialed, Four? Four? Four? Four? Four? Four? Four? is not in service. Please check the listing and dial again. <click!>
Five Meanings of "I Should Go" • http://www.vuidesign.org/Audio/ch11_Table11-1.wav PROSODY MEANING I should GO. Falling tone on stressed "go” I should GO? Rising tone on "go” - Is that your advice? I should go. Falling tone on "I” - Not you! I SHOULD go. Falling tone on "should” - And I defy you to deny it! I SHOULD go. Rising-falling tone on "should”- But I don't think I will.
How to write a spec (speech only) Start with sample interactions: • not comprehensive • represent main paths • validate “feel” • Make audio version as well (Slide from Jon Bloom)
How to write a spec (speech only) Flow chart ETC... (Slide from Jon Bloom)
How to represent call flow: Make a flow chart (call flow diagram) • For assignment #6: we’re reverse-engineering a telephone dialogue (trying to derive the underlying flow chart from the dialogue we experience). • When designing a dialogue, the underlying flow chart is used to generate the dialogue behavior.