If You Ask Nicely

Students of the Digital Media study program together with Dr. Robert Porzel from the Digital Media Lab (both University of Bremen) conducted an experiment with 20 participants with a simulated courteous language assistant. Inquiries to "Eliza" had to be answered with "Please" and "Thank you" or to be formulated subjunctively to get an answer by her. Instead of querying a command like "How will the weather be in Paris" it has to be berformed in a friendly variant - such as "Would you please tell me how the weather will be in Paris?". Missing these "magic words" let "Eliza" remain inactive and ask for a more polite interaction.

Here is the media response to the experiment:

Interview with Michael Bonfert.

Report from Buten und Binnen