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      Designing Chatbots for Crises: A Case Study Contrasting Potential and Reality


      1 , 2 , 2 , 1

      Proceedings of the 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI)

      Human Computer Interaction Conference

      4 - 6 July 2018

      Chatbot, Community Resilience, Crises, Citizen Engagement, First-time Users, Human-computer interaction



            Chatbots are becoming ubiquitous technologies, and their popularity and adoption are rapidly spreading. The potential of chatbots in engaging people with digital services is fully recognised. However, the reputation of this technology with regards to usefulness and real impact remains rather questionable. Studies that evaluate how people perceive and utilise chatbots are generally lacking. During the last Kenyan elections, we deployed a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to help people submit reports of violence and misconduct experienced in the polling stations. Even though the chatbot was visited by more than 3,000 times, there was a clear mismatch between the users’ perception of the technology and its design. In this paper, we analyse the user interactions and content generated through this application, and discuss the challenges and directions for designing more effective chatbots.


            Author and article information

            July 2018
            July 2018
            : 1-10
            [1 ] The Open University

            Milton Keynes, UK
            [2 ] Ushahidi

            Nairobi, Kenya
            © Piccolo et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of British HCI 2018. Belfast, UK.

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Proceedings of the 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference
            Belfast, UK
            4 - 6 July 2018
            Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
            Human Computer Interaction Conference
            Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
            Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
            Electronic Workshops in Computing


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