Call: “Conversational Agents for Healthcare and Wellbeing” issue of ACM TiiS

Call for Papers

ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems
Special Issue on Conversational Agents for Healthcare and Wellbeing

Full paper submission deadline: January 15th, 2021

Conversational agents (CAs) are systems that engage human users in one-to-one conversation through a natural language interface. Such systems may differ in terms of their conversational capabilities, ranging from simple question- answering to multi-turn dialogues, as well as in their interaction modalities, ranging from text- or voice-only to multimodal interaction. Technical advances in speech recognition, natural language processing, and machine learning have led to increasing adoption and use of CAs. While CAs are widely used in many applications, such as education and workplace productivity, one of their important applications is healthcare. In various healthcare settings, CAs play important roles, including assisting clinicians during consultations, supporting consumers in changing health behaviors, and assisting patients such as elderly individuals in their living environments.

Despite the increasing adoption and the benefits of using CAs to support healthcare and well-being, recent research has shown that: i) patient safety was rarely evaluated, ii) healthcare outcomes were poorly measured, and iii) no standardized evaluation methods were employed. In addition to addressing these challenges, this special issue will feature innovative conversational agents that aim at improving healthcare services and outcomes.


This special issue invites submissions that feature original research on designing, developing and evaluating CAs for healthcare and well-being. These CAs aim at improving healthcare outcomes and services, and satisfy unique application needs (e.g., safety, trust, and user experience). A suitable submission must also demonstrate its relevance to TiiS, the premier journal featuring interactive intelligent systems with two distinct characteristics: intelligence and interactivity. In particular, a suitable submission must exhibit or discuss how the resulting approaches, techniques, or systems advance an interactive intelligent system. Interdisciplinary and applied research is especially encouraged.

Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Studies on CAs for healthcare and well-being in clinical and/or community settings, supporting patient empowerment, safety, or autonomy through CAs
  • Innovative methods, technologies, and systems addressing risk, bias, privacy and trust issues associated with the design and use of healthcare CAs
  • Innovative artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies and methods in areas such as dialog management, speech summarization or error recovery for healthcare CAs
  • Novel applications of user experience (UX) design and evaluation methods for healthcare CAs


Full paper submission deadline: January 15th, 2021
First author notification: March 15th, 2021
Revised paper due: April 30th, 2021
Final author notification: June 15th, 2021
Expected publication: Fall 2021


Baki Kocaballi, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Liliana Laranjo, University of Sydney, Australia
Leigh Clark, Swansea University, Wales
Rafał Kocielnik, Washington University, USA
Robert J. Moore, IBM Research, USA
Q. Vera Liao, IBM Research AI, USA
Timothy Bickmore, Northeastern University, USA

Refer to for author information and submission details.

For questions and further information, please contact

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