Towards an Online Empathetic Chatbot with Emotion Causes

11 May 2021  ·  Yanran Li, Ke Li, Hongke Ning, Xiaoqiang Xia, Yalong Guo, Chen Wei, Jianwei Cui, Bin Wang ·

Existing emotion-aware conversational models usually focus on controlling the response contents to align with a specific emotion class, whereas empathy is the ability to understand and concern the feelings and experience of others. Hence, it is critical to learn the causes that evoke the users' emotion for empathetic responding, a.k.a. emotion causes. To gather emotion causes in online environments, we leverage counseling strategies and develop an empathetic chatbot to utilize the causal emotion information. On a real-world online dataset, we verify the effectiveness of the proposed approach by comparing our chatbot with several SOTA methods using automatic metrics, expert-based human judgements as well as user-based online evaluation.

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