Informing the Design of a News Chatbot

Zhirun Zhang, Xinzhi Zhang, Li Chen

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Chatbots use conversational interfaces to simulate human communication and recently have been applied to different domains due to advancing techniques of natural language understanding and generation. In particular, in the domain of digital journalism, chatbots provide a new channel for audiences to engage with news. However, most chatbots operated by news organizations have so far failed to achieve business growth. In this paper, we have conducted a qualitative user study to better understand users' attitudes towards news chatbots. Specifically, 15 participants were asked to interact with several news chatbots implemented on Facebook Messenger by large international news organizations (e.g., ABC News, NBC News, and BBC News), by issuing a set of 22 sample questions covering various search and recommendation goals related to COVID-19. Then the participants expressed their expectations of news chatbots and the advantages/disadvantages perceived in using them. From these findings, we derive several design guidelines on effectiveness, informativeness, efficiency, humanization, and facility, suggesting developments to news chatbots that may better serve users' needs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, IVA 2021
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450386197
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2021
Event21st ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, IVA 2021 - Virtual, Online, Japan
Duration: 14 Sept 202117 Sept 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents


Conference21st ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, IVA 2021
CityVirtual, Online

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction

User-Defined Keywords

  • conversational agents
  • design guidelines
  • News chatbots
  • qualitative user study


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