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  1. Despite its benefits for children’s skill development and parent-child bonding, many parents do not often engage in interactive storytelling by having story-related dialogues with their child due to limited availability or challenges in coming up with appropriate questions. While recent advances made AI generation of questions from stories possible, the fully-automated approach excludes parent involvement, disregards educational goals, and underoptimizes for child engagement. Informed by need-finding interviews and participatory design (PD) results, we developed StoryBuddy, an AI-enabled system for parents to create interactive storytelling experiences. StoryBuddy’s design highlighted the need for accommodating dynamic user needs between the desire for parent involvement and parent-child bonding and the goal of minimizing parent intervention when busy. The PD revealed varied assessment and educational goals of parents, which StoryBuddy addressed by supporting configuring question types and tracking child progress. A user study validated StoryBuddy’s usability and suggested design insights for future parent-AI collaboration systems.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. Question answering (QA) is a fundamental means to facilitate assessment and training of narrative comprehension skills for both machines and young children, yet there is scarcity of high-quality QA datasets carefully designed to serve this purpose. In particular, existing datasets rarely distinguish fine-grained reading skills, such as the understanding of varying narrative elements. Drawing on the reading education research, we introduce FairytaleQA, a dataset focusing on narrative comprehension of kindergarten to eighth-grade students. Generated by educational experts based on an evidence-based theoretical framework, FairytaleQA consists of 10,580 explicit and implicit questions derived from 278 children-friendly stories, covering seven types of narrative elements or relations. Our dataset is valuable in two folds: First, we ran existing QA models on our dataset and confirmed that this annotation helps assess models’ fine-grained learning skills. Second, the dataset supports question generation (QG) task in the education domain. Through benchmarking with QG models, we show that the QG model trained on FairytaleQA is capable of asking high-quality and more diverse questions.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  3. 3D models of objects and scenes are critical to many academic disciplines and industrial applications. Of particular interest is the emerging opportunity for 3D graphics to serve artificial intelligence: computer vision systems can benefit from synthetically-generated training data rendered from virtual 3D scenes, and robots can be trained to navigate in and interact with real-world environments by first acquiring skills in simulated ones. One of the most promising ways to achieve this is by learning and applying generative models of 3D content: computer programs that can synthesize new 3D shapes and scenes. To allow users to edit and manipulate the synthesized 3D content to achieve their goals, the generative model should also be structure-aware: it should express 3D shapes and scenes using abstractions that allow manipulation of their high-level structure. This state-of-the- art report surveys historical work and recent progress on learning structure-aware generative models of 3D shapes and scenes. We present fundamental representations of 3D shape and scene geometry and structures, describe prominent methodologies including probabilistic models, deep generative models, program synthesis, and neural networks for structured data, and cover many recent methods for structure-aware synthesis of 3D shapes and indoor scenes.