hello :) I was reading some of your stuff about conversation systems, was wondering if you’d have any links/pointers to academic literature on modelling conversations (can be more theoretical/non-game-related), or stuff relevant to people who might be trying to do it?
This one came in via Twitter. I’ve covered some adjacent topics before on mailbag, including
- Games that do complex conversational mechanics
- Dialogue and story generation techniques (Parts 1, 2, 3)
- Dialogue filtering to apply personality and emotion to existing text — this includes links to some academic research into how personality traits affect people’s utterances
- And back in 2009 I wrote this on conversational analysis and how it applied to my work at the time, including going through a number of dialogue situations recorded in literature and talking about how the conversation model I was using at the time would address or fail to address those
But this question is asking something a little different, specifically about how conversation is modeled in the abstract, not necessarily in games and not necessarily for AI production purposes. What academic literature is out there to help us understand how people talk to one another? What types of approaches exist for modeling conversation in general?
Unsurprisingly, this is a huge field of study, so this is not remotely a literature review; instead, it’s a tour of a few pieces of terminology and resources that might be useful in digging deeper.
Also, I am not approaching it primarily from the perspective of a trained linguist (I’ve taken a few classes, but it’s not my field) and instead from the perspective of a person trying to model things for interactive conversation purposes.
So, with those caveats: