8th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Jeju Island, Korea
October 4-8, 2004

Effect of Voice Prosody on the Decision Making Process in Human-Computer Interaction

Yohei Yabuta (1), Yasuhiro Katagiri (2), Noriko Suzuki (2), Yugo Takeuchi (1)

(1) Shizuoka University, Japan
(2) ATR Media Information Science Lab., Japan

This paper examines whether humans perceive additional meaning in computer utterances with different voice prosody and change their decisions based on such interaction if the prosodic differences carry informational significance. We conduct a route selection experiment in which participants were asked to find a route to a goal in a 3-D maze generated by computer graphics. The maze system occasionally outputs a confirmation in response to the participant's choice of a route at a junction. The prosodic characteristics of the confirmation utterances reflect whether the route selected is right for reaching the goal in a normal alley or wrong, leading to a dead end. In this experiment, participants are able to recognize the prosodic meaning and successfully make a decision that leads to a route through the maze. This result suggests that participants can perceive the differences in pitch range of the confirmation voice, and used the pitch range in reselecting their route. Furthermore, wide pitch range confirmation voice indicates a dead end resulted in a higher reselection ratio. This suggests that participants gave a negative interpretation to wider pitch range responses.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yabuta, Yohei / Katagiri, Yasuhiro / Suzuki, Noriko / Takeuchi, Yugo (2004): "Effect of voice prosody on the decision making process in human-computer interaction", In INTERSPEECH-2004, 2985-2988.