How Might One Comfortably Converse with a Machine ?

Yasuhisa NIIMI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E76-D   No.1   pp.9-16
Publication Date: 1993/01/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Issue on Speech and Discourse Processing in Dialogue Systems)
speech dialogue system,  comfirmation,  adaptation,  cooperativeness,  speech recognition,  speech synthesis,  

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Progress of speech recognition based on the hidden Markov model has made it possible to realize man-machine dialogue systems capable of operating in real time. In spite of considerable effort, however, few systems have been successfully developed because of the lack of appropriate dialogue models. This paper reports on some of technology necessary to develop a dialogue system with which one can converse comfortably. The emphasis is placed on the following three points: how a human converses with a machine; how errors of speech recognition can be recovered through conversation; and what it means for a machine to be cooperative. We examine the first problem by investigating dialogues between human speakers, and dialogues between a human speaker and a simulated machine. As a consideration in the design of dialogue control, we discuss the relation between efficiency and cooperativeness of dialogue, the method for confirming what the machine has recognized, and dynamic adaptation of the machine. Thirdly, we review the research on the friendliness of a natural language interface, mainly concerning the exchange of initiative, corrective and suggestive answers, and indirect questions. Lastly, we describe briefly the current state of the art in speech recognition and synthesis, and suggest what should be done for acceptance of spontaneous speech and production of a voice suitable to the output of a dialogue system.