Conversational Agents (CA) are artificial intelligent software which can simulate a conversation with a user in natural language via auditory or textual methods. They are some of the industry's newest tools designed to simplify the interaction between humans and computers. From a technological point of view, a CA only represents the natural evolution of question answering system leveraging Natural Language Processing and Understanding. They are typically used in dialogue systems for various practical purposes including customer service or information acquisition, and even in tele-healthcare, by enabling better accessibility, personalization, and eficiency, conversational agents have the potential to improve patient care. They are often described as one of the most advanced and promising expressions of interactions between humans and machines.
CA are increasingly adopted in many different fields, many banks and insurers, media and e-commerce companies, airlines and hotel chains, retailers, health care providers, government entities and restaurant chains have used CA to answer simple questions, increase customer engagement, for promotion, and to offer additional ways to order from them. CA are often deployed via messaging apps, a website, or a mobile phone app. They can also be integrated into cars and television sets or in the form of a stand-alone device such as speakers, or in robots.
In 2020, tele-health experienced an unprecedented uptake around the globe, with the COVID-19 pandemic acting as a catalyst. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the introduction of virtual healthcare delivery in many countries, it also prompted the rapid development of many other diverse technology-enabled systems and processes for delivering virtual healthcare to patients. One new technology development is the widespread uptake of conversational agents in people's lives, and these now also have many health applications. Voice assistants, such as Google Home and Amazon's Alexa, have been widely adopted.
In 2020, more than 83 million people in the U.S. use such `smart' speakers, a 13.7% increased uptake compared to 2019.
Many people are owning an Alexa, Cortana or Echo or are talking to their virtual assistant on their phone. Indeed, such technologies have the potential of making our lives easier and relieve people from the more repetitive tasks. Yet, deploying such technologies in real-world settings poses many challenges.
Despite the potential benefits of the technology, there are ethical, legal, and social challenges to widespread use of conversational agents. GDPR is a legal framework that sets the guidelines for the collection and procession of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU). With the introduction of GDPR, CA industry has been affected especially when we consider the countless amount of private information that is traded over messaging, a Conversational agent to be deployed it should be GDPR's compliant.
This workshop aims to bring together researchers working in all aspects related to Conversational Agents (technical, ethical, legal, social), including theoretical work, system implementations, and applications.
The co-location of this workshop with PAAMS is intended also to encourage more collaboration with researchers from different research areas of Agents and MultiAgent Systems. This workshop provides a forum to facilitate discussions regarding these topics and a productive exchange of ideas. Topics of interest include (but not limited to):
- Technical aspects in the design, implementation, and evaluation of Conversational Agents;
- Applications of Conversational agents in different domains;
- Technical challenges in building Conversational Agents;
- Studies on ethical, legal, and social implications of Conversational Agents.
- Approaches to implementing ethics in Conversational Agents;
- research challenges in realizing Conversational Agents.
- There are a lot of issues to be explored and challenges to be addressed.
There are a lot of issues to be explored and challenges to be addressed. This workshop aims to explore ethical, legal, social and technical aspects of conversational AI through an open discussion between interested researchers and experts.
- Abeer Dyoub, Research Fellow - DISIM, University of L’Aquila (Italy)
- Giovanni De Gasperis, Assistant Professor - DISIM, University of L’Aquila (Italy)
- Ivan Letteri, Postdoctoral Researcher - DISIM, University of L’Aquila (Italy)
- Isabella Chiari, Associate Professor in Linguistics - Sapienza University of Rome (Italy)
- Chiara Gallese, Researcher - Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands)
Researcher - Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands)