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IJMLC 2020 Vol.10(4): 519-526 ISSN: 2010-3700
DOI: 10.18178/ijmlc.2020.10.4.967

A General Chinese Chatbot Based on Deep Learning and Its’ Application for Children with ASD

Xuan Li, Huixin Zhong, Bin Zhang, and Jiaming Zhang

Abstract—Commercial chatbots such as Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s XiaoIce, Amazon’s Alexa, Jingdong’s JIMI, and Alibaba’s Alime, have some great prospective in applications such as hosting programs, writing poetry, providing pre-sale consulting and after-sales service in E-commerce, and providing virtual shopping guidance. However, in most cases, existed chatbots in the world are neither designed specifically for children, nor suitable for children, especially for children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder). In order to develop chatbots that are suitable for children with ASD, the present study firstly adopted an open source chatting corpus containing more than 1.7 million question-and-answer Chinese sentences of chatting histories involving children in many cases, and screened out more than 400,000 ideal chatting sentences for model training. Then a generative-based method combing Bi-LSTM and attention mechanism with word embedding based on deep neural network was adopted to build a general Chinese chatbot. The quality evaluation results indicated that our chatbot can successfully intrigue participants’ interest and made them understand it well. The chatbot also showed its’ great potential for using in the conversation-mediated intervention for Chinese children with ASD.

Index Terms—Chatbots, autism spectrum disorder, natural language processing, generative-based method, deep learning.

Xuan Li is with the College of Software, Xi’an Jiao Tong University, China (e-mail: lixuan064@ stu.xjtu.edu.cn).
Huixin Zhong is with the Department of Computer Science, the University of Bath, United Kingdom (e-mail: huixinzhong@outlook.com). Bin Zhang is with the School of Software & Microelectronics, Peking University, China (e-mail: zhangbinxy@pku.edu.cn).
Jiaming Zhang is with the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Manufacturing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen), China; He is also with Shenzhen Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for Society, China (corresponding author; e-mail: zhangjiaming@cuhk.edu.cn).

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Cite: Xuan Li, Huixin Zhong, Bin Zhang, and Jiaming Zhang, "A General Chinese Chatbot Based on Deep Learning and Its’ Application for Children with ASD," International Journal of Machine Learning and Computing vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 519-526, 2020.

Copyright © 2020 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3700 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Mach. Learn. Comput.
  • Frequency: Bimonthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJMLC
  • Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Lin Huang
  • Executive Editor:  Ms. Cherry L. Chen
  • Abstracing/Indexing: Inspec (IET), Google Scholar, Crossref, ProQuest, Electronic Journals Library.
  • E-mail: ijmlc@ejournal.net


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