Transformation through Provocation? Designing a “Bot of Conviction” to Challenge Conceptions and Evoke Critical Reflection

Maria Roussou, Sara Elizabeth Perry, Akrivi Katifori, Stavros Vassos, Angeliki Tzouganatou, Sierra McKinney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Can a chatbot enable us to change our conceptions, to be critically reflective? To what extent can interaction with a technologically “minimal” medium such as a chatbot evoke emotional engagement in ways that can challenge us to act on the world? In this paper, we discuss the design of a provocative bot, a “bot of conviction”, aimed at triggering conversations on complex topics (e.g. death, wealth distribution, gender equality, privacy) and, ultimately, soliciting specific actions from the user it converses with. We instantiate our design with a use case in the cultural sector, specifically a Neolithic archaeological site that acts as a stage of conversation on such hard themes. Our larger contributions include an interaction framework for bots of conviction, insights gained from an iterative process of participatory design and evaluation, and a vision for bot interaction mechanisms that can apply to the HCI community more widely.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationGlasgow
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • chatbot
  • heritage
  • emotion
  • provocation
  • computer human interaction
  • archaeology

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