About the project
Look Who’s Talking is an interdisciplinary collaboration between three universities from the Netherlands, funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), working together to develop and test a new generation of conversational agents (chatbots) which can engage with humans in long-term motivational interactions. The main aim of this project is to create and field-test chatbots designed to develop and foster long-term engaging and human-like conversations with humans for two technologically and linguistically diverse domains (smoking cessation and promotion of safe sex, respectively) based on recent insights from artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, humanities, and social sciences with expertise from our societal partners. Additionally, we will study if and how people build up a social relationship with such more advanced chatbots, and what the ethical implications of communication with such health chatbots are.
Roby’s main function is getting to know smokers’ behaviour by a conversational assessment. It also provides personalized normative feedback and discusses with smokers potential reasons to quit smoking. We “trained” Roby with motivational interviewing techniques and skills, to be a helpful addition in motivating smokers to quit!
MISH is a text-based chatbot that primarily makes use of motivational interviewing (MI) techniques to promote sexual health. This prototype has been designed to address condom use. While the intended target population is heterosexual couples in a steady relationship, initial testing will be conducted with individuals.
News & events
What we have produced during the project so far. Our publications, posters, presentations, and more.
Basar, E., Balaji, D., He, L., Hendrickx, I., Krahmer, E., de Bruijn, G., & Bosse, T. (2023). HyLECA: A Framework for Developing Hybrid Long-term Engaging Controlled Conversational Agents. In Proceedings of the 5th Conference on Conversational User Interfaces (CUI’23). ACM.
He, L., Balaji, D., Wiers, R. W., Antheunis, M. L., & Krahmer, E. (2022). Effectiveness and acceptability of conversational agents for smoking cessation: a systematic review and meta-analysis. In Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
Balaji, D., He, L., Giani, S., Bosse, T., Wiers, R., & de Bruijn, G. J. (2022). Effectiveness and acceptability of conversational agents for sexual health promotion: a systematic review and meta-analysis. In Sexual health, 19(5), 391-405.
He, L., Basar, E., Wiers, R. W., Antheunis, M. L,. & Krahmer, E. (2022). Can chatbots help to motivate smoking cessation? A study on the effectiveness of motivational interviewing on engagement and therapeutic alliance. In BMC Public Health, 22(1), 1-14.
Basar, E., Hendrickx, I., Krahmer, E., de Bruijn, G., & Bosse, T. (2022). Hints of Independence in a Pre-scripted World: On Controlled Usage of Open-domain Language Models for Chatbots in Highly Sensitive Domains. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence – Volume 1, pages 401-407.
Hendrickx, I., Cena, F., Basar, E., Di Caro, L., Kunneman, F., Musi, E., Musto, C., Rapp, A. & van Waterschoot, J. (2021). Towards a new generation of personalized intelligent conversational agents. In Adjunct Proceedings of the 29th ACM Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (pp. 373-374).
Look Who’s Talking research group consists of many experts from multiple disciplines assuming different roles in our project.
Prof. Dr. Tibor Bosse
Social artificial intelligence,
theory of mind
Prof. Dr. Gert-Jan de Bruijn
University of Antwerp
Prof. Dr. Emiel Krahmer
Human-machine interaction, natural language processing, conversational agents, evaluation
Prof. Dr. Marjolijn Antheunis
Dr. Margot van der Goot
University of Amsterdam
Dr. Iris Hendrickx
Natural language processing,
Prof. Dr. Reinout Wiers
University of Amsterdam
cognitive processes in addiction, intervention development
Prof. Dr. Pim Haselager
Philosophy of mind,
Divyaa Balaji, M.Sc.
University of Amsterdam
Focus on communication about promoting safe sex behaviour
Erkan Basar, M.Sc.
Focus on computational dialogue modelling
Linwei He, M.Sc.
Focus on communication about smoking cessation
Societal & Industrial Partners
Drs. Erwin Fisser
SOA Aids Nederland
Societal partner; safe sex promotion
Prof. Dr. Marc Willemsen
Societal partner; smoking cessation and public health
Dr. Sander Wubben
Industrial partner; practical design of chatbots
Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Andre
Computational dialogue modelling
Prof. Dr. Ehud Reiter
University of Aberdeen
Natural language generation
Prof. Dr. Rob Ruiter
Health communication and health promotion
Prof. Dr. Robert West
University College London
Addiction and behaviour change
This project is partly financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) with project number 406.DI.19.054
Sept 2020 … » M33 » M34 » M35 »… Mar 2025
Get in touch
If you have any questions or just want to say hello, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll get back to you soon.