You Sound Like Someone Who Watches Drama Movies: Towards Predicting Movie Preferences from Conversational Interactions

The increasing popularity of voice-based personal assistants provides new opportunities for conversational recommendation. One particularly interesting area is movie recommendation, which can benefit from an open-ended interaction with the user, through a natural conversation. We explore one promising direction for conversational recommendation: mapping a conversational user, for whom there is limited or no data available, to most similar external reviewers, whose preferences are known, by representing the conversation as a user{'}s interest vector, and adapting collaborative filtering techniques to estimate the current user{'}s preferences for new movies. We call our proposed method ConvExtr (Conversational Collaborative Filtering using External Data), which 1) infers a user{'}s sentiment towards an entity from the conversation context, and 2) transforms the ratings of {``}similar{''} external reviewers to predict the current user{'}s preferences. We implement these steps by adapting contextual sentiment prediction techniques, and domain adaptation, respectively. To evaluate our method, we develop and make available a finely annotated dataset of movie recommendation conversations, which we call MovieSent. Our results demonstrate that ConvExtr can improve the accuracy of predicting users{'} ratings for new movies by exploiting conversation content and external data.

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