Building Collaborative Agents
Speaker: Candy Sidner and Chuck Rich , MERL
Date: November 21 2002
The overall goal of this research is to create agents that participate in conversations and collaborations with human partners. Our approach makes use of the SharedPlan theory of collaborative discourse developed by Grosz, Sidner, et al.. Based on this theory, we have developed application-independent Java middleware, called COLLAGEN, which automatically constructs and maintains a representation of the collaborative discourse context, structured according to both the underlying task model and a user's current goals.
We have used COLLAGEN to build a number of prototype collaborative agents across a wide spectrum of collaboration modes and application domains. The collaboration modes range from intelligent assistance to intelligent tutoring; the application domains range from operating consumer products, such personal video recorders and programmable thermostats, to industrial plant equipment, such as turbine engines and power generators. Most of these applications involve speech recognition and generation. We have also recently begun to look at related issues in human-robot interaction.
Most of this work has been done jointly with Neal Lesh (also at MERL). For more information, please visit http://www.merl.com/projects/collagen or see our overview article in the Winter 2001 issue of AI Magazine.
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