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Wired for Speech: How Voice Activates and Advances the Human-Computer Relationship

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How interactive voice-based technology can tap into the automatic and powerful responses all speech--whether from human or machine--evokes.Interfaces that talk and listen are populating computers, cars, call centers, and even home appliances and toys, but voice interfaces invariably frustrate rather than help. In Wired for Speech, Clifford Nass and Scott Brave reveal how i How interactive voice-based technology can tap into the automatic and powerful responses all speech--whether from human or machine--evokes.Interfaces that talk and listen are populating computers, cars, call centers, and even home appliances and toys, but voice interfaces invariably frustrate rather than help. In Wired for Speech, Clifford Nass and Scott Brave reveal how interactive voice technologies can readily and effectively tap into the automatic responses all speech--whether from human or machine--evokes. Wired for Speech demonstrates that people are voice-activated: we respond to voice technologies as we respond to actual people and behave as we would in any social situation. By leveraging this powerful finding, voice interfaces can truly emerge as the next frontier for efficient, user-friendly technology. Wired for Speech presents new theories and experiments and applies them to critical issues concerning how people interact with technology-based voices. It considers how people respond to a female voice in e-commerce (does stereotyping matter?), how a car's voice can promote safer driving (are happy cars better cars?), whether synthetic voices have personality and emotion (is sounding like a person always good?), whether an automated call center should apologize when it cannot understand a spoken request (To Err is Interface; To Blame, Complex), and much more. Nass and Brave's deep understanding of both social science and design, drawn from ten years of research at Nass's Stanford laboratory, produces results that often challenge conventional wisdom and common design practices. These insights will help designers and marketers build better interfaces, scientists construct better theories, and everyone gain better understandings of the future of the machines that speak with us.


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How interactive voice-based technology can tap into the automatic and powerful responses all speech--whether from human or machine--evokes.Interfaces that talk and listen are populating computers, cars, call centers, and even home appliances and toys, but voice interfaces invariably frustrate rather than help. In Wired for Speech, Clifford Nass and Scott Brave reveal how i How interactive voice-based technology can tap into the automatic and powerful responses all speech--whether from human or machine--evokes.Interfaces that talk and listen are populating computers, cars, call centers, and even home appliances and toys, but voice interfaces invariably frustrate rather than help. In Wired for Speech, Clifford Nass and Scott Brave reveal how interactive voice technologies can readily and effectively tap into the automatic responses all speech--whether from human or machine--evokes. Wired for Speech demonstrates that people are voice-activated: we respond to voice technologies as we respond to actual people and behave as we would in any social situation. By leveraging this powerful finding, voice interfaces can truly emerge as the next frontier for efficient, user-friendly technology. Wired for Speech presents new theories and experiments and applies them to critical issues concerning how people interact with technology-based voices. It considers how people respond to a female voice in e-commerce (does stereotyping matter?), how a car's voice can promote safer driving (are happy cars better cars?), whether synthetic voices have personality and emotion (is sounding like a person always good?), whether an automated call center should apologize when it cannot understand a spoken request (To Err is Interface; To Blame, Complex), and much more. Nass and Brave's deep understanding of both social science and design, drawn from ten years of research at Nass's Stanford laboratory, produces results that often challenge conventional wisdom and common design practices. These insights will help designers and marketers build better interfaces, scientists construct better theories, and everyone gain better understandings of the future of the machines that speak with us.

30 review for Wired for Speech: How Voice Activates and Advances the Human-Computer Relationship

  1. 5 out of 5

    Noah

    humans, hell even animals, have real relationships to technology, which is not the suprising part of this book. nass does a brilliant job of experimenting on this relationship in order to find out how it works on its own terms. for example, in one experiment he demonstrates that humans often related to the individual computer they used differently than with other computers. nass shows repeatedly that the human computer relationship is very dyadic, it is not monolithic technology that is at stake humans, hell even animals, have real relationships to technology, which is not the suprising part of this book. nass does a brilliant job of experimenting on this relationship in order to find out how it works on its own terms. for example, in one experiment he demonstrates that humans often related to the individual computer they used differently than with other computers. nass shows repeatedly that the human computer relationship is very dyadic, it is not monolithic technology that is at stake here, but the individual machine

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Mooij

    Wonderfully insightful summary of the various research and findings in using speech systems to enable humans and technology to communicate with each other. I read it for a research into speech systems and how to approach designing such a system. Most helpful was having a design approach next to the slightly more regular engineering approach.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Edward

    The book talks about different aspects of designing computer voice interfaces, particularly on speech output, using human and social points of view. It points out human’s unique characteristics in processing and interacting with speech and how the different parts of the brain are wired as a result of evolutionary forces. One of the main points of the book is that even though the brain consciously knows one is interacting with a synthesized voice by a computer, other parts of the brain subconscio The book talks about different aspects of designing computer voice interfaces, particularly on speech output, using human and social points of view. It points out human’s unique characteristics in processing and interacting with speech and how the different parts of the brain are wired as a result of evolutionary forces. One of the main points of the book is that even though the brain consciously knows one is interacting with a synthesized voice by a computer, other parts of the brain subconsciously treat the conversation as if one is interacting with a human. This brings all the different social elements into play resulting in our subconscious bias regarding the “speaker’s” gender, personality, origin, emotions, etc. The book discusses different design decisions in voice interface, e.g. the choice of personality or matching emotions with the user, and then describes the research that was done and the results. While the book itself is an easy read, the research was described in quite details that it would benefit those who want to learn how to design future research in this area. The book is organized with each chapter discussing a design issue and ended with a conclusion in the last chapter. If you only have time for one chapter, you would gain some insights by reading the last chapter. The following are some key takeaways or learning’s: • The human brain rarely makes distinctions between speaking to a machine, even though those machines haves low-quality speech production, and speaking to a person. (Quote: “Throughout most of evolutionary history, the human brain did not encounter technologies that simulated human abilities, so the brain likely did not develop an acute sensitivity to a warning that something was a “technology” rather than a “human”). • Voices, like people, are more effective when they match the emotion of the listener • People treat stereotypes (e.g. female vs. male) with computer generated voice the same as actual human speakers • The different aspects of voice that indicate personality includes volume, pitch, pitch range, speech rate. • The voice interface is most effective if it can match the personality, emotion and in a lot of cases the gender of the user. • The consistency between the voice personality and content personality is important. So is the consistency between the voice emotion and the content. • A voice interface should change its speech characteristics to match the person they are interacting with, just as people do. • Humans use labeling based on gender, accent and personality as a fundamental process that dramatically decreases the need for decision making or information processing at the expense of nuance and accuracy. • A voice interface should be designed such that the user feels there is a cooperation between human and machine to achieve a common goal, just like any successful conversation between two humans.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

    Information on experiments done in the area of voice human-computer interactions.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Petr

    A really good overview of voice human-computer interaction and with a great deal of nice experiments showing how easy it is to trick people.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ron

  7. 4 out of 5

    Henry

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Preuthen

  10. 4 out of 5

    Roy

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kwan Min Lee

  12. 5 out of 5

    Xinglu Liu

  13. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Castellani Jr

  14. 5 out of 5

    Julia Kulgavchuk

  15. 5 out of 5

    Boris Greenberg

  16. 4 out of 5

    Agustín Armellini Fischer

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mr D T Wavell

  18. 4 out of 5

    Frankenmouse

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jan-philipp

  20. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chester

  22. 5 out of 5

    Freddie Feldman

  23. 4 out of 5

    Adam Simon

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rimes2

  25. 5 out of 5

    Wei-Yang Sun

  26. 4 out of 5

    John

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  28. 4 out of 5

    Yaluna

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carey

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alina

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