Loughborough University
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Furthering the Development of Virtual Agents and Communication Robot Devices through the Consideration of the Temporal Home: Figure and Table information

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posted on 2023-11-14, 12:30 authored by Andrew PooleyAndrew Pooley

For a research study titled "Furthering the development of in-home virtual assistant devices through the consideration of the temporal home", Figure and Table information.

Abstract from paper:

This paper extends current research on in-home virtual assistant (VA) devices, focusing on how future domestic VA devices can support the temporal structures and routines within the home. We recruited representatives from 15 households with varied compositions, ranging from single inhabitants to full nest families. Drawing upon P.G. Wodehouse’s The Inimitable Jeeves as inspiration, the methodology sought to imitate the relationship between a recruitment agency worker (researcher) and an employer (household participant) seeking to hire a human personal assistant (e.g., an ‘Amazon Echo Dot’ or ‘Google Home’ type of device) for their home. A ‘household audit’ comprising a guided household tour followed by an architectural survey was undertaken to determine the spatiotemporal routines within the home. Householder descriptions were scrutinized through the traditional Labovian narrative schema, with findings being discussed through Reddy et al’s notion of temporal features to examine how routine activities emerge and unfold within the home from a temporal perspective. We argue that the temporal concepts discussed by Reddy et al. are a useful lens for understanding the temporal nature of the activities that take place in a home and how VAs can better fulfil their roles as domesticated ‘human personal assistant’.



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