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"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
Gerald Penn <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 11 Mar 2014 15:11:43 -0400
"Munteanu, Cosmin" <[log in to unmask]>
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"Munteanu, Cosmin" <[log in to unmask]>
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CHI 2014 Course Announcement: Speech-Based Interaction

Dear colleagues,

We would like to invite anyone interested in gaining an overview of speech-based interaction to attend our tutorial at this year's CHI conference ( This is the fourth time our tutorial will be presented at CHI, and every year we have seen the interest in this hotly debated topic increase. And once again, we will be able to present a very comprehensive overview of this area with numerous interactive examples and hands-on activities, as we have been allocated an extended time slot (3 hours) for the course. A description of the course is included below.

Please consider forwarding this to collaborators or students who you think may benefit from learning about this timely topic. Registration for CHI courses can be done at the same time as for the main conference, or added later to the conference registration. The early-bird registration is open until March 14.

Thank you,

Cosmin Munteanu and Gerald Penn
National Research Council Canada
University of Toronto
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Course No & Title:
                C21: Speech-based Interaction: Myths, Challenges, and Opportunities

                Cosmin Munteanu - National Research Council Canada & University of Toronto
                Gerald Penn - University of Toronto

Program Description:

HCI research has for long been dedicated to better and more naturally facilitating information transfer between humans and machines. Unfortunately, humans' most natural form of communication, speech, is also one of the most difficult modalities to be understood by machines - despite, and perhaps, because it is the highest-bandwidth communication channel we possess. While significant research efforts, from engineering, to linguistic, and to cognitive sciences, have been spent on improving machines' ability to understand speech, the CHI community has been relatively timid in embracing this modality as a central focus of research. This can be attributed in part to the relatively discouraging levels of accuracy in understanding speech, in contrast with often-unfounded claims of success from industry, but also to the intrinsic difficulty of designing and especially evaluating speech and natural language interfaces. As such, the development of interactive speech-based systems is mostly driven by engineering efforts to improve such systems with respect to largely arbitrary performance metrics, often void of any user-centered design principles or consideration for usability or usefulness.

The goal of this course is to inform the CHI community of the current state of speech and natural language research, to dispel some of the myths surrounding speech-based interaction, as well as to provide an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to learn more about how speech recognition and speech synthesis work, what are their limitations, and how they could be used to enhance current interaction paradigms. Through this, we hope that HCI researchers and practitioners will learn how to combine recent advances in speech processing with user-centred principles in designing more usable and useful speech-based interactive systems.

CHI 2014 Course Schedule:

Dr. Cosmin Munteanu
Research Officer | Agent de recherche
    National Research Council Canada | Conseil national de recherches du Canada
Adjunct Professor
    Department of Computer Science | University of Toronto
46 Dineen Drive | 46, promenade Dineen | Fredericton, NB, E3B 9W4, Canada
Tel. | TÚl. +1 (506) 444-0527 | Fax | TÚlÚcopieur +1 (506) 444-6114

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