Creating Conversational Characters Using Question Generation Tools

Xuchen Yao, Emma Tosch, Grace Chen, Elnaz Nouri, Ron Artstein, Anton Leuski, Kenji Sagae, David Traum


This article describes a new tool for extracting question-answer pairs from text articles, and reports three experiments which investigate how suitable this technique is for supplying knowledge to conversational characters. Experiment 1 demonstrates the feasibility of our method by creating characters for 14 distinct topics and evaluating them using hand-authored questions. Experiment 2 evaluates three of these characters using questions collected from naive participants, showing that the generated characters provide full or partial answers to about half of the questions asked. Experiment 3 adds automatically extracted knowledge to an existing, hand-authored character, demonstrating that augmented characters can answer questions about new topics but with some degradation of the ability to answer questions about topics that the original character was trained to answer. Overall, the results show that question generation is a promising method for creating or augmenting a question answering conversational character using an existing text.

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www.dialogue-and-discourse.orgISSN: 2152-9620   Journal doi: 10.5087/dad