The Role of "Etiquette" in an Automated Medication Reminder

Christopher A. Miller, Peggy Wu, and Marc Chapman

This paper describes a model of politeness between inten-tional agents developed from sociolinguistic observations of human-human interactions (Brown and Levinson, 1987) and suggests a method for applying it to human-machine interactions. Applications in the context of a medication re-minder system are presented including data which suggest that the Brown and Levinson model provides good predic-tions for how "polite" alternate reminding utterances will be perceived when delivered by a machine. Additional data from a field test of one such reminding system are presented which indicate that "politeness", and the etiquette behaviors which achieve various levels of politeness, are important to elders—though not that maximal politeness behaviors are either expected, desired or, perhaps, productive. Further, future applications of the Brown and Levinson model in military training are also discussed.


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