Paper: An Interactive Humanoid Robot Exhibiting Flexible Sub-Dialogues

ACL ID N12-3005
Title An Interactive Humanoid Robot Exhibiting Flexible Sub-Dialogues
Venue Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Session System Demonstration
Year 2012

We demonstrate a conversational humanoid robot that allows users to follow their own dialogue structures. Our system uses a hi- erarchy of reinforcement learning dialogue agents, which support transitions across sub-dialogues in order to relax the strict- ness of hierarchical control and therefore support flexible interactions. We demon- strate our system with the Nao robot play- ing two versions of a Quiz game. Whilst language input and dialogue control is au- tonomous or wizarded, language output is provided by the robot combining verbal and non-verbal contributions. The novel fea- tures in our system are (a) the flexibility given to users to navigate flexibly in the in- teraction; and (b) a framework for investi- gating adaptive and flexible dialogues.