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Putting wake words to bed: We speak wake words with systematically varied prosody, but CUIs don't listen

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conference contribution
posted on 20.09.2021, 10:29 by Saul AlbertSaul Albert, Magnus HamannMagnus Hamann
"Wake words' such as "Alexa"or "Hey Siri", as conversation design elements, mimic the interactionally rich 'summons-answer' sequence in natural conversation, but their function amounts to little more than a button-push: simply activating the interface. In practice, however, users vocally overdesign their wake words with all the detail of a 'real' interactional summons. We hear users uttering wake words with a specific prosody and intonation, as though for a particular recipient in a particular social/pragmatic context. This presents a puzzle for designers of conversational user interfaces (CUIs). Previous research suggests that expert users simplify their talk when interacting with CUIs, but with wake words we observe the opposite. When users do the extra interactional work of varying their wake words in ways that seem 'recipient designed' for a specific other, does that suggest that designers are successfully eliciting natural interaction from users, or is it violating user expectations? Our two case studies highlight how the mismatch between user expectations and the limitations of how wake words are currently implemented can lead to cascades of interactional trouble, especially in multi-party conversations. We argue that designers should find new ways to activate CUIs that align users' expectations with conversational system design.

Funding

BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant: SRG19\191529

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Communication and Media

Published in

CUI 2021 - 3rd Conference on Conversational User Interfaces (CUI ’21)

Source

Conversational User Interfaces 2021

Publisher

ACM

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© 2021 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to ACM.

Publisher statement

© {Owner/Author | ACM} 2021. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in Conversational User Interfaces 2021, https://doi.org/10.1145/3469595.3469608

Acceptance date

27/06/2021

Publication date

2021-07-27

Copyright date

2021

ISBN

9781450389983

Book series

ACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Language

en

Location

Barcelona (online)

Event dates

27th July 2021 - 29th August 2021

Depositor

Dr Saul Albert. Deposit date: 16 September 2021

Article number

13