Proceedings Abstracts of the Twenty-Fifth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence

StalemateBreaker: A Proactive Content-Introducing Approach to Automatic Human-Computer Conversation / 2845
Xiang Li, Lili Mou, Rui Yan, Ming Zhang

Existing open-domain human-computer conversation systems are typically passive: they either synthesize or retrieve a reply provided with a human-issued utterance. It is generally presumed that humans should take the role to lead the conversation and introduce new content when a stalemate occurs, and that computers only need to "respond." In this paper, we propose STALEMATEBREAKER, a conversation system that can proactively introduce new content when appropriate. We design a pipeline to determine when, what, and how to introduce new content during human-computer conversation. We further propose a novel reranking algorithm Bi-PageRank-HITS to enable rich interaction between conversation context and candidate replies. Experiments show that both the content-introducing approach and the reranking algorithm are effective. Our full STALEMATEBREAKER model outperforms a state-of-the-practice conversation system by +14.4% p@1 when a stalemate occurs.