Although non goal-oriented dialogue systems have been around for many years (almost fifty years indeed, if we consider Weizenbaum's Eliza system as the starting milestone), they have been recently gaining a lot of popularity in both research and commercial arenas. From the commercial stand point, non goal-oriented dialogue seems to be providing an excellent means to engage users for entertainment purposes, as well as to give a more human-like appearance to established vertical goal-oriented dialogue systems.
From the research perspective, on the other hand, this kind of systems poses interesting challenges and problems to the research community. The main objective of the workshop is to bring together researchers working on problems related to chat-oriented dialogue for promoting discussion and knowledge sharing about the state-of-the-art and novel techniques in this field, as well as to coordinate a collaborative effort to collect/generate data, resources and evaluation protocols for future research in this area.
A shared task on data collection and annotation will be conducted. In this task, participants will generate human-machine and human-human dialogues and annotate them. Human-machine dialogues will be generated by using different online and offline chat engines, and annotations are to be generated following provided guidelines. The collected dataset will be made publicly available to the research community for further research and experimentation in future editions of the workshop.