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What do you mean? A Review on Recovery Strategies to Overcome Conversational Breakdowns of Conversational Agents

2021-12 , Benner, Dennis , Elshan, Edona , Schöbel, Sofia , Janson, Andreas

Since the emergence of conversational agents, this technology has seen continuous development and research. Today, advanced conversational agents are virtually omnipresent in our everyday lives. Albeit the numerous improvements in their conversational capabilities, breakdowns are still a persistent issue. Such breakdowns can result in a very unpleasant experience for users and impair the future success of conversational agents. This issue has been acknowledged by many researchers recently. However, the research on strategies to overcome conversational breakdowns is still inconclusive, and further research is needed. Therefore, we conduct a systematic literature analysis to derive conceptual conversational breakdown recovery strategies from literature and highlight future research avenues to address potential gaps. Thus, we contribute to theory of human-agent interaction by deriving and assessing recovery strategies and suggesting leads for novel recovery strategies.

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Publication

A Review of the Empirical Literature on Conversational Agents and Future Research Directions

2020 , Zierau, Naim , Elshan, Edona , Visini, Camillo , Janson, Andreas

The knowledge base related to user interaction with conversational agents (CAs) has grown dramatically but remains segregated. In this paper, we conduct a systematic literature review to investigate user interaction with CAs. We examined 107 papers published in outlets related to IS and HCI research. Then, we coded for design elements and user interaction outcomes, and isolated 7 significant determinants of these outcomes, as well as 42 themes with inconsistent evidence, providing grounds for future research. Building upon the insights from the analysis, we propose a research agenda to guide future research surrounding user interaction with CAs. Ultimately, we aim to contribute to the body of knowledge of IS and HCI in general and user interaction with CA in particular by indicating how developed a research field is regarding the number and content of the respective contributions. Furthermore, practitioners benefit from a structured overview related to CA design effects.