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DSSG 2023: AI Storybook project aims to create AI tool to help parents teach their children to read with dialogic questioning

Posted by on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 in - Generative AI, Newsletter, Vanderbilt Generative AI Research, Vanderbilt University Data Science Institute and Vanderbilt University School of Engineering | Large Language Models.

Seeking to uncover novel methods for fostering meaningful interactions between parents and children during reading sessions, a team of researchers in the Data Science Institute’s Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) program is currently engaged in an innovative project called AI Storybook. Led by Postdoctoral Fellow, Abigail Petulante, the project aims to develop an AI-based dialogic question generating application that analyzes book content and generates deeper, dialogic questions exploring characters’ mental states, intentions, beliefs, and desires. By guiding parents with the right questions, the project seeks to enhance reading comprehension and promote meaningful conversations between parents and their children.

The inspiration behind the project stems from the research of Professor of Psychology, Dr. Georgene Troseth, and Professor of Psychology and Human Development, Dr. Amy Booth. Both engaged in discussions at the DSI’s AI Deep Dive in January 2023, highlighting the potential of artificial intelligence in supporting parents with dialogic questioning techniques during reading sessions. With recent advancements in data science, Doctors Troseth’s and Booth’s vision is now closer to becoming a reality.

The AI Storybook project team consists of Ricky Sun, Kevin Chen, Ryan Allegretti, Amanda Zhou, Daniel Zhang, Vicky Cao, and Minwoo Sohn. Additionally, Margaret Shavlik, who defended her Ph.D. thesis on dialogic reading in March, is also contributing to the project.

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