Models, code, and papers for "Q. Vera Liao":

Tell Me About Yourself: Using an AI-Powered Chatbot to Conduct Conversational Surveys

May 25, 2019
Ziang Xiao, Michelle X. Zhou, Q. Vera Liao, Gloria Mark, Changyan Chi, Wenxi Chen, Huahai Yang

The rise of increasingly more powerful chatbots offers a new way to collect information through conversational surveys, where a chatbot asks open-ended questions, interprets a user's free-text responses, and probes answers when needed. To investigate the effectiveness and limitations of such a chatbot in conducting surveys, we conducted a field study involving about 600 participants. In this study, half of the participants took a typical online survey on Qualtrics and the other half interacted with an AI-powered chatbot to complete a conversational survey. Our detailed analysis of over 5200 free-text responses revealed that the chatbot drove a significantly higher level of participant engagement and elicited significantly better quality responses in terms of relevance, depth, and readability. Based on our results, we discuss design implications for creating AI-powered chatbots to conduct effective surveys and beyond.

* Currently under review 

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Bootstrapping Conversational Agents With Weak Supervision

Dec 14, 2018
Neil Mallinar, Abhishek Shah, Rajendra Ugrani, Ayush Gupta, Manikandan Gurusankar, Tin Kam Ho, Q. Vera Liao, Yunfeng Zhang, Rachel K. E. Bellamy, Robert Yates, Chris Desmarais, Blake McGregor

Many conversational agents in the market today follow a standard bot development framework which requires training intent classifiers to recognize user input. The need to create a proper set of training examples is often the bottleneck in the development process. In many occasions agent developers have access to historical chat logs that can provide a good quantity as well as coverage of training examples. However, the cost of labeling them with tens to hundreds of intents often prohibits taking full advantage of these chat logs. In this paper, we present a framework called \textit{search, label, and propagate} (SLP) for bootstrapping intents from existing chat logs using weak supervision. The framework reduces hours to days of labeling effort down to minutes of work by using a search engine to find examples, then relies on a data programming approach to automatically expand the labels. We report on a user study that shows positive user feedback for this new approach to build conversational agents, and demonstrates the effectiveness of using data programming for auto-labeling. While the system is developed for training conversational agents, the framework has broader application in significantly reducing labeling effort for training text classifiers.

* 6 pages, 3 figures, 1 table, Accepted for publication in IAAI 2019 

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One Explanation Does Not Fit All: A Toolkit and Taxonomy of AI Explainability Techniques

Sep 14, 2019
Vijay Arya, Rachel K. E. Bellamy, Pin-Yu Chen, Amit Dhurandhar, Michael Hind, Samuel C. Hoffman, Stephanie Houde, Q. Vera Liao, Ronny Luss, Aleksandra Mojsilović, Sami Mourad, Pablo Pedemonte, Ramya Raghavendra, John Richards, Prasanna Sattigeri, Karthikeyan Shanmugam, Moninder Singh, Kush R. Varshney, Dennis Wei, Yunfeng Zhang

As artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms make further inroads into society, calls are increasing from multiple stakeholders for these algorithms to explain their outputs. At the same time, these stakeholders, whether they be affected citizens, government regulators, domain experts, or system developers, present different requirements for explanations. Toward addressing these needs, we introduce AI Explainability 360 (, an open-source software toolkit featuring eight diverse and state-of-the-art explainability methods and two evaluation metrics. Equally important, we provide a taxonomy to help entities requiring explanations to navigate the space of explanation methods, not only those in the toolkit but also in the broader literature on explainability. For data scientists and other users of the toolkit, we have implemented an extensible software architecture that organizes methods according to their place in the AI modeling pipeline. We also discuss enhancements to bring research innovations closer to consumers of explanations, ranging from simplified, more accessible versions of algorithms, to tutorials and an interactive web demo to introduce AI explainability to different audiences and application domains. Together, our toolkit and taxonomy can help identify gaps where more explainability methods are needed and provide a platform to incorporate them as they are developed.

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