A research group from Waseda University and CrossLab Institute has proposed a new communication design concept that incorporates the perspective of "synlogue," in which a conversation progresses cooperatively through overlap (the joining of voices) and backchanneling (such as nodding).

 In contrast to the "dialogue" model of classical conversation analysis, which is based on speakers taking turns to speak, this study focuses on the "synlogue" model, in which speech is co-created through turn coupling such as cooperative overlap and back-channeling. We have found value in the sense of solidarity that synlogue generates between speakers, and have proposed this as a design concept for introducing a co-creative conversational mode into interface design, even in computer-mediated communication such as that examined in HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) research.

 In fact, they developed a bot that dynamically inserts backchannels (backchannel bot) and experimentally analyzed the effects of co-talk. The results showed that when the bot uses backchannels, the conversation feels more friendly and cooperative. They also found that when the human had a mechanical impression of the listener's bot, the overlap was perceived as an unnatural error, whereas when the human subjectively perceived the bot to be "human-like," the overlap was accepted as natural, and the conversation between the human and the bot became co-talkative.

 As the results of this study show, by incorporating a co-conversation perspective, it is expected that familiar and co-creative interfaces can be realized in the field of human-computer interaction design.

 Even in communication between people, a co-discourse and co-creative conversation style is thought to contribute to improving the quality of communication, easing social divisions between people in different positions, creating effective learning environments in educational settings, and improving mental health.

The results of this research were published online on Saturday, May 2024, 2024 at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 5, and received an Honorable Mention, which is given to papers in the top 11% of quality that year.

Paper information:[ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2024] Synlogue with Aizuchi-bot: Investigating the Co-Adaptive and Open-Ended Interaction Paradigm

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