Future directions for chatbot research: an interdisciplinary research agenda

Asbjørn Følstad, Theo Araujo, Effie Lai-chong Law, Petter Bae Brandtzaeg, Symeon Papadopoulos, Lea Reis, Marcos Baez, Guy Laban, Patrick Mcallister, Carolin Ischen, Rebecca Wald, Fabio Catania, Raphael Meyer Von Wolff, Sebastian Hobert, Ewa Luger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Chatbots are increasingly becoming important gateways to digital services and information—taken up within domains such as customer service, health, education, and work support. However, there is only limited knowledge concerning the impact of chatbots at the individual, group, and societal level. Furthermore, a number of challenges remain to be resolved before the potential of chatbots can be fully realized. In response, chatbots have emerged as a substantial research area in recent years. To help advance knowledge in this emerging research area, we propose a research agenda in the form of future directions and challenges to be addressed by chatbot research. This proposal consolidates years of discussions at the CONVERSATIONS workshop series on chatbot research. Following a deliberative research analysis process among the workshop participants, we explore future directions within six topics of interest: (a) users and implications, (b) user experience and design, (c) frameworks and platforms, (d) chatbots for collaboration, (e) democratizing chatbots, and (f) ethics and privacy. For each of these topics, we provide a brief overview of the state of the art, discuss key research challenges, and suggest promising directions for future research. The six topics are detailed with a 5-year perspective in mind and are to be considered items of an interdisciplinary research agenda produced collaboratively by avid researchers in the field.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComputing
Early online date19 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Chatbots
  • Conversational agents
  • Dialogue systems
  • Future research directions

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