Feb 2014

Benjamin Cowan, How human-human dialogue research can lead us to understand speech behaviours in human-computer dialogue: The case of lexical alignment

Dialogue is a dynamic social activity. Research has consistently shown that our dialogue partners impact our speech choices whereby we converge (or align) on aspects such as lexical choice and syntax. With the development of more natural computer dialogue partners and the increase of speech as an interaction modality in many devices and applications, it is important that we understand what impacts how we behave linguistically in such dialogue interactions wth computers. My talk will focus on my current work looking at how design choices and computer partner behaviours affect alignment in human-computer dialogue and how this can inform the theory-based debate over what leads to such a behaviour.

Dr Benjamin Cowan is a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham’s Human-Computer Interaction Centre, based in the School of Computer Science. His research is at the juncture between Psychology and Computer Science, studying how interface design affects user perceptions, emotions and behaviours in human-computer based interactions. Specifically he studies how design and system actions affect user linguistic behaviours as well as the causes and predictors of user anxiety towards social system contributions.

This seminar is part of our ongoing series from researchers in HCI. See here for our current schedule.