Exploring diversity perceptions in a community through a Q&A chatbot

The WeNet partners from Aalborg University recently presented their exploration on diversity – conducted in association with partner LSE (London School of Economics) – at the last Design Research Society conference, which took place in Bilbao (Spain) from June 27 to July 3.

The presentation of Aalborg’s researchers revolved on the paper entitled “Exploring diversity perceptions in a community through a Q&A chatbot”, written in collaboration with LSE and accepted for the DRS conference, which details data and key findings resulting from their study conducted through WeNet’s chatbot.

Here below, the paper’s abstract:

While diversity has become a debated issue in design, very little research exists on positive use-cases for diversity beyond scholarly criticism. The current work addresses this gap through the case of a diversity-aware chatbot, exploring what benefits a diversity-aware chatbot could bring to people and how do people interpret diversity when being presented with it. In this paper, we motivate a Q&A chatbot as a technology probe and deploy it in two student communities within a study. During the study, we collected contextual data on people’s expectations and perceptions when presented with diversity during the study. Our key findings show that people seek out others with shared niche interests, or their search is driven by exploration and inspiration when presented with diversity. Although interacting with chatbots is limited, participants found the engagement novel and interesting to motivate future research.

The paper can be read in its entirety in the Scientific Publications section of this website and the presentation slides can be downloaded from the Presentations section.