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Benjamin Cowan <[log in to unmask]>
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Benjamin Cowan <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 25 Mar 2019 11:55:34 +0000
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*Apologies for cross-posting*

In this workshop we will look at the elements in an artificial voice 
that support an embodied (either digital or tangible) and dis-embodied 
form of an intelligent virtual agent (IVA). In this context the agent 
can be seen to perform, or act a role, where naturalness of the voice 
may be subservient to appropriateness, and communicating the character 
of the agent can be as important as the information it presents. We will 
introduce the current ways a voice can be made to have character, how 
this can be designed to fit a specific agent, and how such a voice can 
be effectively deployed.

The intended audience is academics and industry researchers who are 
tired of seeing there carefully created conversational agents spoilt by 
inappropriate speech synthesis voices, and who want to lead the way in 
which speech synthesis takes into account the design requirements of 
IVAs. The workshop is not primarily for speech technologists (although 
they are of course welcome) but rather the engineers and scientists 
exploring the use of IVAs, and are curious to see how modern speech 
synthesis can dramatically alter the way such agents are perceived and used.

Attendees are encouraged to also attend the main conference but this is 
not a requirement. We request those interested to email 
[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> with the following 

1. 100-200 word biography and main motivation for attending.

2. Sketch of an actual or imagined embodied agent that intends to use 
speech to converse or present dynamic content. The sketch could include 
pictures, example content and design motivations and could vary from 
well specified to speculative, from ground breaking to well understood 
domains. It could be a couple of pages to a paragraph. The pre-designs 
will be used to help the organizers select and formulate a design 
challenge of interest to the attendees.

Five of the submissions will be chosen for a short 7 minute + 3 minute 
question presentation at the workshop. Please indicate if you would like 
to be considered for this. The submissions chosen will aim to give a 
varied and proactive view of potential use cases and speech interface 

For more information see:

Dr Matthew Aylett
CSO CereProc Ltd.
Honorary Fellow, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh

Too brief? Here's why

Benjamin R Cowan PhD
Assistant Professor
School of Information & Communication Studies
University College Dublin
Twitter: @BCowanHCI

NB- I do not check my email at weekends or much in the evening.
If anything is urgent please phone.
Recent papers:
Clark, L., et al., (In Press). What Makes a Good Conversation? Challenges in Designing Truly Conversational Agents. Proceedings of CHI 2019, Glasgow, UK.

Pinder, C., Vermeulen, J., Cowan, B.R. & Beale, R. (2018). Digital Behaviour Change Interventions to Break and Form Habits. ACM TOCHI.

Gilmartin et al., (2018). Explorations in multiparty casual social talk and its relevance for social human machine dialogue. Journal of Multimodal User Interfaces, 12, 4, 297-308

Murad, C., Munteanu, C., Clark, L., & Cowan, B. R. (2018). Design guidelines for hands-free speech interaction. Proceedings of Mobile HCI 2018, Barcelona, Spain.

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