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Best paper award

This year’s workshop included the first CONVERSATIONS best paper award. Three papers were nominated for the award based on their excellent reviewer feedback. Among the nominees, organizer representatives made individual rankings of the three nominees, the aggregate ranking score deciding the best paper.

The selection of the best paper was challenging given that all three nominated papers were really strong. The best paper award paper presents a study that is grounded in a thorough review of relevant literature, and that through a rigorous method generate findings that allow for clear theoretical and practical implications in a previously understudied chatbot application area – B2B customer service chatbots.

Winner of best paper award CONVERSATIONS 2020:

Antje Janssen, Davinia Rodríguez Cardona and Michael H. Breitner, for the paper More than FAQ! Chatbot Taxonomy for Business-to-Business Customer Services

 Best paper nominees CONVERSATIONS 2020:

Roberta De Cicco, Susana da Costa E Silva and Riccardo Palumbo, for the paper Should a chatbot disclose itself? Implications for an online conversational retailer 

Margot van der Goot, Laura Hafkamp and Zoë Dankfort, for the paper Customer Service Chatbots: A Qualitative Interview Study into Customers’ Communication Journey.

Keynote speakers – Q. Vera Liao and Björn W. Schuller

At CONVERSATIONS 2020 we are fortunate to have two excellent keynote speakers. Q. Vera Liao will make a talk concluding the first workshop day. Björn W. Schuller will introduce the second workshop day.

Q. Vera Liao – IBM Research AI

Q. Vera Liao conducts her research on IBM Research AI and has background from Human-Computer Interaction. Her research interests concern Human-AI Interaction – in particular explainable AI, human centred machine learning and user-aware conversational agents. Her research is relevant and engaging, and has received several paper awards.

Q. Vera Liao will in her talk address conversational user interfaces for information search. In particular, how conversational design may impact search user experience and impact user behaviour.

For more details, see Q. Vera Liao homepage.

Björn W. Schuller – Imperial College London and University of Augsburg

Björn W. Schuller is professor of AI and head of Group on Language, Audio & Music (GLAM) at Imperial College London, UK, and full professor and head of the Chair of Embedded Intelligence for Health Care and Wellbeing at University of Augsburg, Germany. His research interests include deep learning, audio, and affective computing and he is an influential and awarded reseacher in speech reckognition and multimedia. He is also co-founder of Audeering, a provider of solutions for emotion recognition, person analysis, and scene detection in audio.

Björn W. Schuller will in his talk take a starting point in his own research on voice, text, and dialogue analysis to map out future opportunities for empathic chatbots.

For more details, see Björn W. Schuller homepage.

Groupworks at CONVERSATIONS 2020

Collaborating with fellow chatbot researchers and practitioners is an important part of the CONVERSATIONS workshops.

Participants at CONVERSATIONS 2020 may choose to participate in one of three engaging groupworks, covering different aspects of chatbot research and design.

Groupworks are arranged as a two-hour session on the first workshop day (November 23). Participants will be invited to register for their preferred groupwork in advance of the workshop.

You can choose between three groupwork options:

(A) GROUPWORK: How to conduct chatbot projects? A procedure model to make scientific results applicable in practice.

Raphael Meyer von Wolff and Sebastian Hobert, University of Goettingen, present a proposal to conduct chatbot projects and invite you to as chatbot researchers and practitioners to provide feedback and reflections on this procedure. As part of the work you will get new perspectives on how to conduct chatbot development and operation in a structured way. You contribute with your feedback to enhance the procedure and shape a future resource for chatbot researchers worldwide. (Max. participants 12)

(B) Co-creative groupwork: Closing the (social) distance – How can a chatbot support physical shopping in the era of social distancing?

2020 is changing the way we live and connect with people, services, spaces we used to interact with. Physical distancing is also reshaping the relationship between customers and physical retailers. Federica Tazzi, service designer at Assist Digital, invites participants to apply design thinking methodologies to explore and ideate new chatbot applications for physical retail. (Max. participants 12)

(C) Groupwork: Chatbot ethics – ethical implications of chatbots and how to mitigate these.

Chatbots enable new ways of applying and interacting with digital solutions – which in turn entails the need for ethical consideration. For this groupwork, we ask for your insight on what you see as the main ethical implications of chatbots, and how may we address these in research and practice. Arranged by the workshop organizers.

Groupwork output: The main results and / or experiences from each of the three groupworks are reported back to the workshop participants on the second day of the workshop (November 24).

Registration open

The registration for CONVERSATIONS 2020 is now open. Please find the registration form here.

Registration is free of charge and open to paper authors and presenters as well as researchers, students, and practitioners with an interest in chatbot reserach.

Looking forward to see you at CONVERSATIONS 2020.

Virtual event and deadline extension

Due to multiple requests for deadline extension, we have extended the deadline for submissions to CONVERSATIONS 2020. The extended deadline is September 30. See the updated call for papers.

At the same time, we note that there is substantial uncertainty regarding the arrangement of a physical event this authumn, due to the corona pandemic. Hence, we have decided that this year’s edition of the workshop will be virtual, that is, all presentations and collaboration will be conducted online.

We are excited about the opportunity to engage chatbot researchers in an virtual event November 23-24. Having the event online also simplifies participation regardless of geographical location.

Looking forward to see you at the virtual CONVERSATIONS 2020 🙂

Springer confirmed publication of proceedings

We are happy to announce that Springer just confirmed that they will publish the proceedings of CONVERSATIONS 2020 as a post-workshop volume in the LNCS series. This is great news for the visibility of the workshop output, and a good way of making the workshop findings available to a broader audience.

Also the previous CONVERSATIONS proceedings were published as part of Springer LNCS. See the proceedings for CONVERSATIONS 2019 on Springer link.