Research themes

Speech Interfaces and Voice User Interaction

Speech has become a prominent way of interacting with devices. Voice user interfaces like Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are widely available on a number of devices. The technical infrastructure around these interfaces has progressed rapidly, yet there is limited understanding of HCI related issues, in particular the role that design and system behaviour plays in the user experience.  Work at the HCI@UCD group focuses on using theory-based research to reveal the impact that the design of these systems have on the user’s behaviour and perceptions.


Dr Benjamin Cowan; Dr Leigh Clark; Phil Doyle


The Cog SIS Project- Funded by the Irish Research Council

Relevant Papers:

Large, D. R., Clark, L., Quandt, A., Burnett, G., & Skrypchuk, L. (2017). Steering the conversation: a linguistic exploration of natural language interactions with a digital assistant during simulated driving. Applied ergonomics, 63, 53-61 [pdf]

Cabral, J. P., Cowan, B.R., Zibrek, K., & McDonnell, R. (2017). The influence of synthetic voice on the evaluation of a virtual character. Proceedings of Interspeech ’17, Stockholm, Sweden, p.229-233. [pdf]

Gilmartin, E., Cowan, B.R., Vogel, C., & Campbell, N. (2017). Exploring multiparty casual talk for social human-machine dialogue. Proceedings of SPECOM ’17, Hatfield, UK [pdf]

Cowan, B.R., Branigan, H.P., Begum, H., McKenna, L., & Szekely, E. (2017). They Know as Much as We Do: Knowledge Estimation and Partner Modelling of Artificial Partners. Proceedings of CogSci ’17, London, UK, p. 1836-1841. [pdf]

Clark, L., Ofemile, A., Adolphs, S., & Rodden, T. (2016). A multimodal approach to assessing user experiences with agent helpers. ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems (TiiS), 6(4), 29. [pdf]

Cowan, B.R., Branigan, H. P., Bugis, E., Obregon, M., & Beale, R. (2015). Voice anthropomorphism, interlocutor modelling and alignment effects on syntactic choices in human-computer dialogue. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 83, 27-42. [pdf]