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Wed, 4 Mar 2015 23:42:54 -0500
Cosmin Munteanu <[log in to unmask]>
"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
Cosmin Munteanu <[log in to unmask]>
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Do you like your mobile phone's voice-enabled digital assistant? Do you 
hate her / him / it? Do you want to know more about how it works? If 
yes, then consider registering for the CHI 2015 Course on "Speech-based 
Interaction: Myths, Challenges, and Opportunities"! For the fifth 
consecutive year at CHI, we will debunk myths surrounding voice 
interfaces, demystify how speech recognition and synthesis work, and 
challenge interaction designers and researcher to explore how speech can 
enhance existing and future interaction paradigms.

For course details, see below or online at

To register go to 
and add course #18 to your registration
(course fees are just $25 and can be added any time)

Looking forward to seeing many of you in Seoul!

Cosmin Munteanu and Gerald Penn


CHI 2015 Course
Speech-based Interaction: Myths, Challenges, and Opportunities

Schedule: Wednesday April 22nd, 9:30am - 12:50pm

Speech remains the "holy grail" of interaction, as this is the most 
natural form of communication that humans employ. Unfortunately, it 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 effort, in engineering, 
linguistics and psychology, have been spent on improving machines' 
ability to understand and synthesize speech, the HCI 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 interfaces 
that use speech and natural language as an input or output modality. 
While the accuracies of understanding speech input are still 
discouraging for many applications under less-than-ideal conditions, 
several interesting areas have yet to be explored that could make 
speech-based interaction truly hands-free. The goal of this course is to 
inform the HCI community of the current state of speech and natural 
language interaction research, to dispel some of the myths surrounding 
speech-based interaction, as well as to provide an opportunity for HCI 
researchers and practitioners to learn more about how speech recognition 
and synthesis work, what are their limitations, where are they currently 
used in interactive and multimodal systems, and how they could be used 
to enhance current interaction paradigms.

Cosmin Munteanu, ICCIT, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, 
Gerald Penn, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Cosmin Munteanu is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for 
Communication, Culture, Information, and Technology (University of 
Toronto at Mississauga), and Associate Director of the Technologies for 
Ageing Gracefully lab. His area of expertise is at the intersection of 
Human-Computer Interaction, Automatic Speech Recognition, Natural 
Language Processing, Mobile Computing, and Assistive Technologies. He 
has extensively studied the human factors of using imperfect speech 
recognition systems, and has designed and evaluated systems that improve 
humans' access to and interaction with information-rich media and 
technologies through natural language. Cosmin's multidisciplinary 
interests include speech and natural language interaction for mobile 
devices, mixed reality systems, learning technologies for marginalized 
users, assistive technologies for older adults, and ethics in 
human-computer interaction research.

Gerald Penn is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of 
Toronto. His area of expertise is in the study of human languages, both 
from a mathematical and computational perspective. Gerald is one of the 
leading scholars in Computational Linguistics, with significant 
contributions to the formal study of natural languages. His publications 
cover many areas, from Theoretical Linguistics, to Mathematics, and to 
Automatic Speech Recognition, as well as Human-Computer Interaction.

Dr. Cosmin Munteanu
   Assistant Professor
     Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology, 
University of Toronto Mississauga
   Associate Director
     Technologies for Aging Gracefully Lab, Department of Computer 
Science, University of Toronto

Email: [log in to unmask]
Phone: 905-569-4294 (ICCIT), 416-978-3778 (TAGlab)

CCT Building Rm. 3067
University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6

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