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  • mhoeschele

How to Get People to Expand on a Topic

I have young kids at home so I have lots of experience with trying to get more than the most barebones responses to questions like:


  1. “What was the best part of your day?”

  2. “Art”

  3. “What do you wish had gone differently today?”

  4. “My friends were nicer”


The first example is what we consider a short response, more specifically it is a few words with no surrounding context like an entity or action. Our Conversational AI handles this just like I do, and asks a probing question:


  • “What about art was great today?”

  • “Why was art the best part of your day?”


The second example is more of an incomplete thought, and our Conversational AI detects exactly this. It realizes that very little detail was given about the topic, and most people have more on their minds than they shared. In these situations we probe a bit differently:


  • “Tell me a bit more about your friends.”

  • “What did your friends do that you wish they hadn’t?”


The ability to probe into these kernels of information is key to getting not only more data from a community, but also removing the bias of less detailed information from people who don’t naturally share their opinions vs people that love to share.

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