IntroBot: Exploring the Use of Chatbot-assisted Familiarization in Online Collaborative Groups

Published in CHI 2023.



Many people gather online and form teams with strangers to collaborate on tasks. However, while intrateam trust and cohesion are critical for team performance, such characteristics take time to establish and are harder to build up through computer-mediated communication. Building on prior research that has shown that enhancing familiarity between members can help, we hypothesized that the use of a chatbot to support the familiarization of ad hoc teammates can help their collaboration. As such, we designed IntroBot, a chatbot that builds on an online discussion facilitator framework and leverages the social media data of users to assist their familiarization process. Through a between-subjects study (N=60), we found that participants who used IntroBot reported higher levels of trust, cohesion, and interaction quality, as well as generated more ideas in a collaborative brainstorming task. We discuss insights gained from our study, and present opportunities for the future of chatbot-assisted collaboration.