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Speech Technology and Human Computer Interaction Workshop

9.00am, March 27th, Informatics Forum, Edinburgh University, UK

Post-Event Summary

The workshop was a lively event with 48 attendees from all the main engineering departments in Scotland as well as researchers from York, Northumbria, Trinity College Dublin, and the Centre of for User Experience Research in Leuven.

Our keynotes were Per Ola Kristennson from St. Andrews University, who has considerable experience of using speech technology in his HCI work, as well as being a leading expert in gesture keyboard technology, Russell Beale, from the University of Birmingham, who presented a usability and design view of speech technology, Steve Renals from the University of Edinburgh, with over 25 years experience with speech technology, who gave a summary on what he saw as the main challenges for speech technology in the field human computer interaction, and Holly Branigan, from the University of Edinburgh, who presented a psychological perspective of speech technology and computer interaction.

Over a hot lunch we also whetted our academic appetite with 7 poster presentation ranging from topics such as conversational speech, audio interfaces, and anthropomorphism, and 6 demos from industry and academia, show casing the very latest in speech synthesis and speech recognition technology, and the cutting edge research that is making use of these technologies. Alistair Edwards, from York, presented the hilarious comedy sketch, Voice by Choice, written and starring Lee Ridley (aka Lost Voice Guy) and looks at the funny side of going speed dating when you use a communication aid.

The afternoon of group work was well attended by both speech technology and HCI professionals. Five groups wrestled with the contrasting styles of HCI and Speech Technology papers, and finished off with a whimsical view of speech technology and its usability producing short 6 frame stories imagining its future uses and abuses.

The conversations and discussions continued in our informal social event in the Holyrood pub. We see this workshop as a start to bridge the gap between the two disciplines and hope that this informal event will spur more collaboration between researchers in the two areas. Experiences from running the workshop will be shared with international researchers organising the Designing Speech and Language Interactions workshop at CHI 2014.