A Taxonomy of Social Cues for Conversational Agents

When using the taxonomy, please cite as Feine, J., Gnewuch U., Morana S. and Maedche A. (2019): “A Taxonomy of Social Cues for Conversational Agents” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. To read the paper, please click here.

Social cue: Small talk
Communication system: Verbal
Cue category: Content
Cue Description
The CA engages in casual conversations.
Cue example
CA: “How are you today?”, “What about the weather?”.
Cue impact
Engagement in casual not task related conversations makes the agent more reliable, competent, and knowledgeable (Cassel, Bickmore 2000; Bickmore, Cassel 2001), impacts the perceived personality type of an agent (Li et al. 2017) and is useful as part of relational behavior strategies to ensure a long-term working alliance (Bickmore et al. 2005). The perception of the small-talk varies dependent on the topic and the cultural background of the user (Endrass et al. 2010). Analyzing users interest and start the conversation with a "ice-breaking" sentence that matches these interest increases the engagement of the user (Andonov et al. 2016).
Reference List
1. Bickmore, T. W., & Picard, R. W. (2005). Establishing and Maintaining Long-term Human-computer Relationships. ACM TRANSACTIONS ON COMPUTER-HUMAN INTERACTION (12:2), pp. 293-327, from http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1067860.1067867.
2. Bickmore, T., & Cassell, J. (2001). Relational agents: A Model and Implementation of Building User Trust. In J. Jacko (Ed.), Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 396-403). New York, NY: ACM.
3. Cassell, J., & Bickmore, T. (2000). EXTERNAL MANIFESTATIONS OF TRUST WORTHINESS IN THE INTERFACE. Communications of the ACM (43:12), pp. 50-56.
4. Endrass, B., Rehm, M., & André, E. (2010). Planning Small Talk behavior with cultural influences for multiagent systems. Computer Speech & Language (25:2), pp. 158-174.
5. Andonov, A., Schmidt, M., Niehues, J., & Waibel, A. (Eds.). 2016. Using Tweets as "Ice-Breaking" Sentences in a Social Dialog System. Speech Communication; 12. ITG Symposium.
6. Li, J., Zhou, M. X., Yang, H., & Mark, G. (2017). Confiding in and Listening to Virtual Agents. In G. A. Papadopoulos, T. Kuflik, F. Chen, C. Duarte, & W.-T. Fu (Eds.), Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces - IUI 17 (pp. 275-286). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press.
7. Bickmore, T. and J. Cassell (2005). Social Dialogue with Embodied Conversational Agents. In J. C. J. Kuppevelt, N. O. Bernsen and L. Dybkjær (eds.) Advances in Natural Multimodal Dialogue Systems, pp. 23?54. Dordrecht: Springer.