St Andrews HCI Research Group


Mar 2024

Seminar:User Language and Perspective in Speech-Based Human-Machine Dialogue 3rd April 2024

Perspective taking, partner models and user language use in speech based human-machine dialogue


Speech based conversational user interfaces (CUIs) such as speech agents are now commonplace. Design is critical in supporting and informing our perceptions of speech agents as dialogue partners (i.e. our partner models), which are commonly used to inform perspective taking in dialogue. My talk will explore how CUI design shapes our beliefs of a machine partner’s abilities, the dimensions relevant to partner models, how partner models are crucial to consider in terms of speech agent interaction, and how this concept can help us begin to explain our language interactions with conversational AI more broadly.


Benjamin R Cowan is Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at University College Dublin’s School of Information & Communication Studies in Ireland. He completed his undergraduate studies in Psychology & Business Studies (2006) as well as his PhD in Usability Engineering (2011) at the University of Edinburgh. His research lies at the juncture between psychology, human-computer interaction and communication systems in investigating how design impacts aspects of user behaviour in social, collaborative and communicative AI interactions.
Prof. Cowan is the co-founder and co-director of the HCI@UCD group, one of the largest HCI research groups in Ireland. He is also Co-Principal investigator in the SFI funded ADAPT Centre, a world leading €90+ million Research Centre on AI driven content technologies, where he leads the Interaction and Control research strand. Prof. Cowan is also the co-founder of the ACM International Conferences Series on Conversational User Interfaces (ACM CUI) and has been heavily involved in the ACM CHI conference, having acted as Associate Chair (AC-2017-2018; 2021) and Subcommittee Chair (SC- 2022 & 2023) of the Understanding People Quantitative Methods Subcommittee.

Event details:

  • When: 3rd April 2024 12:30 – 13:30
  • Where: Jack Cole 1.19


If you’re interested in attending any of the seminars in room 1.19, please email the SACHI seminar coordinator: so they can make appropriate arrangements for the seminar based on the number of attendees.