Ron Artstein: “Evaluating Conversational Characters Created through Question Generation”

May 18, 2011 | Palm Beach, FL

Speaker: Ron Artstein
Host: FLAIRS 24

Question generation tools can be used to extract a question-answer database from text articles. We investigate how suitable this technique is for giving domain-specific knowledge to conversational characters. We tested these characters by collecting questions and answers from naive participants, running the questions through the character, and comparing the system responses to the participant answers. Characters gave a full or partial answer to 53% of the user questions which had an answer available in the source text, and 43% of all questions asked. Performance was better for questions asked after the user had read the source text, and also varied by question type: the best results were answers to who questions, while answers to yes/no questions were among the poorer performers. The results show that question generation is a promising method for creating a question answering conversational character from an existing text.