Expressive Interviewing: A Conversational System for Coping with COVID-19

Charles Welch, Allison Lahnala, Veronica Perez-Rosas, Siqi Shen, Sarah Seraj, Larry An, Kenneth Resnicow, James Pennebaker, Rada Mihalcea


Abstract
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns for many regarding personal and public health implications, financial security and economic stability. Alongside many other unprecedented challenges, there are increasing concerns over social isolation and mental health. We introduce Expressive Interviewing – an interview-style conversational system that draws on ideas from motivational interviewing and expressive writing. Expressive Interviewing seeks to encourage users to express their thoughts and feelings through writing by asking them questions about how COVID-19 has impacted their lives. We present relevant aspects of the system’s design and implementation as well as quantitative and qualitative analyses of user interactions with the system. In addition, we conduct a comparative evaluation with a general purpose dialogue system for mental health that shows our system potential in helping users to cope with COVID-19 issues.
Anthology ID:
2020.nlpcovid19-2.6
Volume:
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on NLP for COVID-19 (Part 2) at EMNLP 2020
Month:
December
Year:
2020
Address:
Online
Venues:
EMNLP | NLP-COVID19
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2020.nlpcovid19-2.6
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2020.nlpcovid19-2.6
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Charles Welch, Allison Lahnala, Veronica Perez-Rosas, Siqi Shen, Sarah Seraj, Larry An, Kenneth Resnicow, James Pennebaker, and Rada Mihalcea. 2020. Expressive Interviewing: A Conversational System for Coping with COVID-19. In Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on NLP for COVID-19 (Part 2) at EMNLP 2020, Online. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Expressive Interviewing: A Conversational System for Coping with COVID-19 (Welch et al., NLP-COVID19 2020)
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PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2020.nlpcovid19-2.6.pdf
Video:
 https://slideslive.com/38939850