Professor of speech technology
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About Joakim Gustafsons research:
Speech interfaces have the potential to become simple ways of controlling applications, home electronics and robots. In order to develop these, knowledge is needed about how people talk to a machine. All spoken dialogue is based on the fact that we constantly interpret and adapt our speech according to the situation. For example, people speak more clearly and in a more articulated manner in a noisy environment, or if the person we are speaking to appears to have difficulty understanding us.
In order to find out how people talk to machines, Joakim Gustafson has spent years recording conversations between people and machines in public places such as museums. This has provided knowledge about what adults and children choose to say to machines, and how they react when machines do not understand what they have said. Joakim has also researched how we can give machines the ability to sound over-explicit, doubtful, determined or encouraging, and how they can make use of the fact that people pick out their words.
The aim is to make it easier, more fun and more natural for people to talk to machines. The possibility of controlling our homes and computers via intuitive speech interfaces will bring significant benefits for people who have difficulty living independently, such as older people and people with cognitive disabilities.