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MIT Media Laboratory, Perceptual Computing Technical Report #530
Appears In: AAAI Fall Symposium - Socially Intelligent Agents
The Human in the Loop, November 2000
Tracking Conversational Context for
Machine Mediation of Human Discourse

Tony Jebara, Yuri Ivanov, Ali Rahimi, Alex Pentland
MIT Media Lab, 20 Ames St., Cambridge, MA 02139
{ jebara, yivanov, rahimi, sandy }


We describe a system that tracks conversational context using speech recognition and topic modeling. Topics are described by computing the frequency of words for each class. We thus reliably detect, in real-time, the currently active topic of a group discussion involving several individuals. One application of this 'situational awareness' is a computer that acts as a mediator of the group meeting, offering feedback and relevant questions to stimulate further conversation. It also provides a temporal analysis of the meeting's evolution. We demonstrate this application and discuss other possible impacts of conversational situation awareness.

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Tony Jebara