Ask AI: How not to kill online conversations | Science News

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Ask AI: How not to kill online conversations

At least on Reddit, certain responses may leave you without an audience

9:00am, January 3, 2018
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WELL-RED A computer code that studied over 60,000 Reddit threads offers new insights about getting responses in online conversations.

A new artificial intelligence could tell whether your next post to an online forum will engage others or fall flat.

Computer scientist Qiaozhu Mei of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and colleagues trained a machine-learning program on about 63,000 Reddit threads to learn what dialog-ending responses look like.

This kind of chat-savvy computer code, described in a paper accepted to the 2018 Web Conference in Lyon, France, could someday notify users before they hit “submit” if a post is likely to shut down discussion. Such feedback could lead to more satisfying and productive online conversations.

AI’s guide to being an online conversationalist

  1. Stay on topic. Posts that repeat words used elsewhere in a thread or use more related terms are less likely to end a conversation.

  2. Share experiences. Comments that include words such as &ldquo
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