Unaddressed challenges in persuasive dieting chatbots

Simone Balloccu, Ehud Reiter, Matteo G. Collu, Federico Sanna, Maurizio Atzori, Manuela Sanguinetti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)


Diet coaching is a behaviour change task which requires lots of interaction with patients. E-health apps gathered lots of interest in research and, recently, chatbots have been leveraged to address this task, with a focus on persuasion to motivate people towards behaviour change. In this paper, we take a look at current approaches in building persuasive dieting chatbots and expose a number of major unsolved challenges. We motivate them with evidence from previous work and show that current chatbots don’t approach certain scenarios properly, hence limiting their communication and persuasion capabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUMAP '21
Subtitle of host publicationAdjunct Proceedings of the 29th ACM Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-8367-7
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2021
Event29th Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization: UMAP '21 - Online from Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 21 Jun 202125 Jun 2021
Conference number: 29th


Conference29th Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization
Abbreviated titleUMAP '21
Internet address

Bibliographical note

This research was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska Curie grant agreement No 812882.


  • conversational agents
  • chatbots
  • diet
  • diet coaching
  • natural language generation


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