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This project was informed, designed, and built for my thesis Conversational Symbiosis Amongst Humans and AI In the Context of Plateaus in Romantic Relationships. Currently, I am trying to answer a number of research question, these include:

  • given a conversational interface with an artificial agent that is intended to aid romantic relationships what do participating individuals deem a comfortable level of intervention?
  • how might an agent positively/negatively affect a situation?
  • how might an agent proactively/reactively serve a couple?
  • how might an interface with an artificial agent scaffold conversations between individuals in a romantic relationship?

I used ideas from a variety of literature. These include the four stages of a romantic conversation, I developed based on Gordon Pask's Conversation Theory and Paul Pangaro and Hugh Dubberly's work on conversation. The four stages include:

  1. sharing phase - when partners determine the subject of that conversation
  2. exchange phase - the exchange of thoughts, ideas, and questions
  3. evolution phase - when partners evolve their understanding of their partner and relationship
  4. response phase - when partners take action based on this new understanding

The bot also takes advantage of knowledge and advice from relationship literature, that includes:

  • a couple will forget the disagreement, but remember the disagreeing
  • don't fall into the trap of "kitchen sinking", or throw multiple arguments into one conversation
  • use xyz statements (when you do x in situation y, I feel z)
  • acknowledge your partner's feelings and concerns, respect their feelings, and legitimize their concerns
  • don't use generalities, talk about specific events

Some historical projects I used for inspiration include:

  • ELIZA, Joseph Weizenbaum
  • The Coordinator, Terry Winograd
  • The Mechanical Word, Richard Price and Karen Bleitz

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