12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

`Are You Sure You're Paying Attention?' - `Uh-Huh' Communicating Understanding as a Marker of Attentiveness

Hendrik Buschmeier, Zofia Malisz, Marcin Włodarczak, Stefan Kopp, Petra Wagner

Universität Bielefeld, Germany

We report on the first results of an experiment designed to investigate properties of communicative feedback produced by non-attentive listeners in dialogue. Listeners were found to produce less feedback when distracted by an ancillary task. A decreased number of feedback expressions communicating understanding was a particularly reliable indicator of distractedness. We argue this finding could be used to facilitate recognition of attentional states in dialogue system users.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Buschmeier, Hendrik / Malisz, Zofia / Włodarczak, Marcin / Kopp, Stefan / Wagner, Petra (2011): "`are you sure you're paying attention?' - `uh-huh' communicating understanding as a marker of attentiveness", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 2057-2060.