Effects of Wording and Gendered Voices on Acceptability of Voice Assistants in Future Autonomous Vehicles

Jestin, Iris, Fischer, Joel E., Galvez Trigo, Maria J. , Large, David R. and Burnett, Gary E. (2022) Effects of Wording and Gendered Voices on Acceptability of Voice Assistants in Future Autonomous Vehicles. In: CUI ’22: Conversational User Interfaces Conference, 26th-28th July 2022, Glasgow.

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1145/3543829.3543836

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Effects of Wording and Gendered Voices on Acceptability of Voice Assistants in Future Autonomous Vehicles
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Abstract

Voice assistants in future autonomous vehicles may play a major role in supporting the driver during periods of a transfer of control with the vehicle (handover and handback). However, little is known about the effects of different qualities of the voice assistant on its perceived acceptability, and thus its potential to support the driver’s trust in the vehicle. A desktop study was carried out with 18 participants, investigating the effects of three gendered voices and different wording of prompts during handover and handback driving scenarios on measures of acceptability. Participants rated prompts by the voice assistant in nine different driving scenarios, using 5-point Likert style items in a during and post-study questionnaire as well as a short interview at the end. A commanding/formally worded prompt was rated higher on most of the desirable measures of acceptability as compared to an informally worded prompt. The ‘Matthew’ voice used was perceived to be less artificial and more desirable than the ‘Joanna’ voice and the gender-ambiguous ‘Jordan’ voice; however, we caution against interpreting these results as indicative of a general preference of gender, and instead discuss our results to throw light on the complex socio-phonetic nature of voices (including gender) and wording of voice assistants, and the need for careful consideration while designing the same. Results gained facilitate the drawing of insights needed to take better care when designing the voice and wording for voice assistants in future autonomous vehicles.

Keywords:Autonomous Vehicles, Voice Assistant, Acceptability, Gendered voice, Wording, Handover, Handback, Human computer interaction (HCI)
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G400 Computer Science
G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G440 Human-computer Interaction
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:49118
Deposited On:25 May 2022 12:22

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