Personalized Persuasive Dialog Systems (via Zoom)

Abstract: Dialog systems such as Alexa and Siri are everywhere in our lives. They can complete tasks such as booking flights, making restaurant reservations and training people for interviews. These systems are passively follow-along human needs.  What if the dialog systems have a different goal than users. We introduce dialog systems that can persuade users to donate to charities. We further improve the dialog model's coherence by tracking both semantic actions and conversational strategies from dialog history using finite-state transducers. Finally, we analyze some ethical concerns and human factors in deploying personalized persuasive dialog systems. 

Bio: Zhou Yu is an Assistant Professor at the UC Davis Computer Science Department. Zhou will join the CS department at Columbia University in Jan 2021 as an Assistant Professor. She obtained her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2017.  Zhou has built various dialog systems that have a real impact, such as a job interview training system, a depression screening system, and a second language learning system. Her research interest includes dialog systems, language understanding and generation, vision and language, human-computer interaction, and social robots. Zhou received an ACL 2019 best paper nomination, featured in Forbes 2018 30 under 30 in Science, and won the 2018 Amazon Alexa Prize.