Conversational User Interfaces:

A Workshop on New Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives for Researching Speech-based Conversational Interactions 


The use of speech as an interaction modality has grown considerably through the integration of Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPAs- e.g. Siri, Google Assistant) into smartphones and voice based devices (e.g. Amazon Echo). Such engineering advances in speech processing present a unique opportunity for enabling users to interact with interface in a truly conversational way. However, we have yet to see current voice-enable interface fully becoming Conversational User Interfaces (CUIs) as afforded by the underlying speech and natural language capabilities. For example, from a conversational / dialogue perspective, there remain significant gaps in using theoretical frameworks to understand user behaviours and choices and how they may applied to specific speech interface interactions. On a design and Human-Computer Interaction level, we don’t yet have the proper tools such as validated design guidelines to help us improve the usability of such interfaces. On the speech processing side, variability in speech, language, and conversation still pose problem, and error-recovery strategies often lead to degraded user experience. From a critical perspective, issues of ethics and privacy remain yet to be addressed.

 This part-day multidisciplinary workshop aims to critically map out and evaluate theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches across a number of disciplines and establish directions for new paradigms in understanding speech interface user behaviour. In doing so, we will bring together participants from HCI and other speech related domains to establish a cohesive, diverse and collaborative community of researchers from academia and industry with interest in exploring theoretical and methodological issues in the field.