CivicBots: Chatbots for Supporting Youth in Societal Participation

Kaisa Väänänen, Aleksi Hiltunen, Jari Varsaluoma, Iikka Pietilä

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Supporting young people to participate in societal development is an important factor in achieving sustainable future. Digital solutions can be designed to help youth participate in civic activities, such as city planning and legislation. To this end, we are using human-centered approach to study how digital tools can help youth discuss their ideas on various societal issues. Chatbots are conversational agents that have potential to trigger and support thought processes, as well as online activities. In this context, we are exploring how chatbots – which we call CivicBots – can be used to support youth (16–27 years) in societal participation. We created three scenarios for CivicBots and evaluated them with the youth in an online survey (N = 54). Positive perceptions of the youth concerning CivicBots suggest that CivicBots can advance equality and they may be able to reach youth better than a real person. On the negative side, CivicBots may cause unpleasant interactions by their over-proactive behaviour, and trustworthiness is affected by fears that the bot does not respect user’s privacy, or that it provides biased or limited information about societally important issues.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChatbot Research and Design
Subtitle of host publicationThird International Workshop, CONVERSATIONS 2019
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-39540-7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventCONVERSATIONS: International Workshop on Chatbot Research and Design -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …

Publication series

NameLecture notes in computer science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Period1/01/00 → …

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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