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Friday, July 17, 2020

Politeness of/to Machines

Do we expect the same politeness from machines?  Are we polite to them?   They can detect some aspects of our demeanor by the words we use.     Will we begin to hide that?    Or is it useful to adjust the conversation?

Could Your Computer Please Be More Polite? Thank You
Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science
By Byron Spice

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed an automated method for restructuring nonpolite directives or requests into more polite communications. The team generated a dataset of 1.39 million sentences labeled for politeness—derived from publicly available emails exchanged by employees of long-gone energy firm Enron—for experimental application. Analysis determined the frequency and distribution of words in polite and nonpolite sentences, and the researchers developed a "tag and generate" pipeline to conduct politeness transfers. Impolite or nonpolite words or phrases were tagged, then a text generator replaced each tagged item without altering the meaning of the sentence. The system was able to produce subtler and more realistic restructures over time, and the team has released the labeled dataset for use by others in the hope of encouraging further politeness research.

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