The Speech Assistant as Passenger

(more to follow)

A general theme of our work is exploring what it would mean for a human and a dialogue system / conversational agent to be in a truly joint situation. In the project described here, we have looked at a very specific, and very common, type of situation: driving in a car.

Executive summary: We’ve built a dialogue system / in-car speech assistant that reacts to the driving situation and can interrupt itself. We have tested it in a driving simulation, and found that it causes much less distraction for the driver than an assistant that behaves like current commercial systems, which cannot interrupt themselves.


  • Kousidis S, Kennington C, Baumann T, Buschmeier H, Kopp S, Schlangen D. A Multimodal In-Car Dialogue System That Tracks The Driver’s Attention. In: Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces. Istanbul, Turkey; 2014: 26–33. [paper]
  • Kennington C, Kousidis S, Baumann T, Buschmeier H, Kopp S, Schlangen D. Better Driving and Recall When In-car Information Presentation Uses Situationally-Aware Incremental Speech Output Generation. In: AutomotiveUI 2014: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications. Seattle, Washington, USA; 2014: 7:1–7:7. [paper]
  • Kousidis S, Kennington C, Baumann T, Buschmeier H, Kopp S, Schlangen D. Situationally Aware In-Car Information Presentation Using Incremental Speech Generation: Safer, and More Effective. In: Proceedings of the EACL 2014 Workshop on Dialogue in Motion. Gothenburg, Sweden; 2014: 68–72. [paper]

A collaboration with the Social Cognitive Systems Group, Prof. Stefan Kopp, and Dr. Timo Baumann, Universität Hamburg.

(This work has been featured in the “Neue Westfälische” and “Westfalenblatt” newspapers on Nov 21 2014.)

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