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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Leveraging Intentional Factors and Task Context to Predict Linguistic Norm Adherence


To enable natural and fluid human-robot interactions, robots need to not only be able to communicate with humans through natural language, but also do so in a way that complies with the norms of human interaction, such as politeness norms. Doing so is particularly challenging, however, in part due to the sensitivity of such norms to a host of different contextual and intentional factors. In this work, we explore computational models of context-sensitive human politeness norms, using explainable machine learning models to demonstrate the value of both speaker intention and task context in predicting adherence with indirect speech norms. We argue that this type of model, if integrated into a robot cognitive architecture, could be highly successful at enabling robots to predict when they themselves should similarly adhere to these norms.

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