I am reflecting on last Friday (02/04). We had a guest lecturer, Paul Pangaro, come and talk to us about conversation and conversational bots (i.e. Alexa). Before going into this, I didn’t realize how much actually went into a conversation.
It was weird to analyze conversation so specifically. Analyzing my own conversation with Amanda in the let’s grab a meal activity, I am definitely more of a collaborative speaker. I don’t like to solely make the decisions and want everyones input.
Then turning our conversations into a VoiceFlow was a bit more challenging. Trying to think of all the different words or phrases one might say to mean one thing and accounting for those was overwhelming to think about. And then thinking about the capabilities of the voice bot, what role does it take, how “real” can the conversation get was creepy. Going back to our classes and the examples we looked at of how AI can take the form of a companion was especially kind of creepy. But staying in the range of the lecture and the AI helping decide where to eat, it was interesting the idea of it learning about you and your preferences and accounting for things like allergies and dislikes.
Overall, it was a really insightful lecture. I had never thought of conversation as more than just people talking or even thought about analyzing it and the roles we take when deciding something that should be so simple, like grabbing a meal.