Atanas Laskov


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Corpus of Multimodal Interaction for Collaborative Planning
Miltiadis Marios Katsakioris | Helen Hastie | Ioannis Konstas | Atanas Laskov
Proceedings of the Combined Workshop on Spatial Language Understanding (SpLU) and Grounded Communication for Robotics (RoboNLP)

As autonomous systems become more commonplace, we need a way to easily and naturally communicate to them our goals and collaboratively come up with a plan on how to achieve these goals. To this end, we conducted a Wizard of Oz study to gather data and investigate the way operators would collaboratively make plans via a conversational ‘planning assistant’ for remote autonomous systems. We present here a corpus of 22 dialogs from expert operators, which can be used to train such a system. Data analysis shows that multimodality is key to successful interaction, measured both quantitatively and qualitatively via user feedback.


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Explainable Autonomy: A Study of Explanation Styles for Building Clear Mental Models
Francisco Javier Chiyah Garcia | David A. Robb | Xingkun Liu | Atanas Laskov | Pedro Patron | Helen Hastie
Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Natural Language Generation

As unmanned vehicles become more autonomous, it is important to maintain a high level of transparency regarding their behaviour and how they operate. This is particularly important in remote locations where they cannot be directly observed. Here, we describe a method for generating explanations in natural language of autonomous system behaviour and reasoning. Our method involves deriving an interpretable model of autonomy through having an expert ‘speak aloud’ and providing various levels of detail based on this model. Through an online evaluation study with operators, we show it is best to generate explanations with multiple possible reasons but tersely worded. This work has implications for designing interfaces for autonomy as well as for explainable AI and operator training.