AAAI Publications, Workshops at the Twenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Automatically Providing Action Plans Helps People Complete Tasks
Nicolas Kokkalis, Johannes Huebner, Steven Diamond, Dominic Becker, Michael Chang, Moontae Lee, Florian Schulze, Thomas Koehn, Scott R Klemmer

Last modified: 2012-07-15


People complete tasks more quickly when they have concrete plans, especially for open-ended, creative tasks. However, people often fail to create such action plans. (How) can systems provide people with these concrete steps automatically? To scalably provide personalized action plans, this paper introduces and evaluates crowdsourcing and peer approaches for creating plans, and NLP techniques for reusing them. We evaluated the effects of action plans on different types of tasks. A between-subjects experiment found that people who received crowd-created plans completed more tasks than people asked to self-create plans and than a control group without action plans. We found that crowd-created action plans are especially effective for lingering and high-level tasks. A second experiment found that peer-provided plans led to more completed tasks than no plans. A third experiment found that participants who received reused action plans also completed more tasks than a control group without action plans. We have incorporated these principles into TaskGenies: a crowd-powered task management system.


Task Management; Crowdsourcing; Implementation Intentions; Action Plans

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