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Reading a Machine's Mind: Partner Modelling and its role in Human-Machine Dialogue Interactions

LOCATION:  TEL, Auditorium 3 (20th floor), Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, 10587 Berlin

Date/Time: 16.07.2018, 14:15-15:00  

SPEAKER: Dr Benjamin R Cowan (UCD)


Through intelligent personal assistants like Siri, Google Home and Amazon Alexa, speech is set to become a mainstream interaction modality. These types of interactions fundamentally rely on a spoken dialogue between machine and human to complete tasks, which leaves the possibility that psychological mechanisms that influence human-human dialogue are also at play in human-machine dialogue interactions. My talk will focus specifically on my work into the role of people’s beliefs about machine partners’ abilities (their partner models) in this dialogue context, specifically what influences these beliefs and how these affect language production in interaction.


Dr Benjamin R Cowan is an Assistant Professor at UCD's School of Information & Communication Studies.  He completed his undergraduate studies in Psychology & Business Studies (2006) as well as his PhD in Usability Engineering (2011) at the University of Edinburgh. He also previously held the role of Research Fellow at the School of Computer Science’s HCI Centre at the University of Birmingham. His research lies at the juncture between psychology, human-computer interaction and speech technology, investigating how the design of speech interfaces impacts user experience and user language choices in interaction.

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