Voice as a Design Material: Sociophonetic Inspired Design Strategies in Human-Computer Interaction

Sutton, Selina, Foulkes, Paul, Kirk, David and Lawson, Shaun (2019) Voice as a Design Material: Sociophonetic Inspired Design Strategies in Human-Computer Interaction. In: Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '19): May 4–9, 2019, Glasgow, Scotland UK. CHI (19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, p. 603. ISBN 9781450359702

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1145/3290605.3300833


While there is a renewed interest in voice user interfaces (VUI) in HCI, little attention has been paid to the design of VUI voice output beyond intelligibility and naturalness. We draw on the field of sociophonetics - the study of the social factors that influence the production and perception of speech - to highlight how current VUIs are based on a limited and homogenised set of voice outputs. We argue that current systems do not adequately consider the diversity of peoples’ speech, how that diversity represents sociocultural identities, and how voices have the potential to shape user perceptions and experiences. Ultimately, as other technological developments have influenced the ideologies of language, the voice outputs of VUIs will influence the ideologies of speech. Based on our argument, we pose three design strategies for VUI voice output design - individualisation, context awareness, and diversification - to motivate new ways of conceptualising and designing these technologies.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Voice user interface; sociophonetics; design material; experience-centered design; computer synthesized speech.
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2019 12:32
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 11:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/37928

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