Voice User Interface (VUI)

Voice-User Interface (VUI)

Project Overview

The increasing use of smart devices and virtual assistants (i.e. Siri, Alexa) opens many questions about human-to-virtual-assistant communication. How do humans perceive virtual assistants? Do we talk to virtual assistants as if they are living humans or inanimate objects, or something in between? We have analyzed the speech interactions between participants and what they believe is a virtual assistant. We examine these questions by varying the degree of human-likeness of virtual assistant voices and observing whether participants converge to or diverge from VUI voices. We have looked at measures such as voice onset time (VOT) and pitch, with plans for further studies.

Selected Publications / Conferences


Purnomo, G., Farr, C., Purnomo, C. Y., Ebbutt, N., Cardoso, A. & Gick, B. (2021). Speaker Accommodation Towards VUI Voices on the Dimensions of Voice Onset Time and Pitch Range. Canadian Acoustics, 49(3), 48-49.

Taylor, R. C., Prica, D., Keough, M., & Gick, B. (2018). Perceiving prosodic prominence via unnatural visual information in avatar communication. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America144(3), 1799-1799.


Purnomo, C., Ebbutt, N., Eredics, K., & Gick, B. Speaker Accommodations and Voice User Interface Voice Assistants: Does Human-Likeness of a Voice Matter? Presented at the Cornell Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium (online). 2021.

Farr, C., Purnomo, G., Cardoso, A., & Gick, B. Speaker Accommodations and VUI Voices: Does Human-likeness of a Voice Matter? Presented at Association of Italian Science of Voice (online). 2021.

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