Being Old Doesn't Mean Acting Old: How Older Users Interact with Spoken Dialog Systems

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Abstract

Most studies on adapting voice interfaces to older users work top-down by comparing the interaction behavior of older and younger users. In contrast, we present a bottom-up approach. A statistical cluster analysis of 447 appointment scheduling dialogs between 50 older and younger users and 9 simulated spoken dialog systems revealed two main user groups, a "social" group and a "factual" group. "Factual" users adapted quickly to the systems and interacted efficiently with them. "Social" users, on the other hand, were more likely to treat the system like a human, and did not adapt their interaction style. While almost all "social" users were older, over a third of all older users belonged in the "factual" group. Cognitive abilities and gender did not predict group membership. We conclude that spoken dialog systems should adapt to users based on observed behavior, not on age.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages39
JournalACM Transactions on Accessible Computing
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2009

Keywords

  • Aging
  • clustering
  • cognitive aging
  • spoken dialog systems
  • voice interfaces

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