Desai to discuss using smart speakers as learning partners at CUI 2021

Smit Desai
Smit Desai
Jessie Chin
Jessie Chin, Assistant Professor

PhD student Smit Desai will discuss his research with Assistant Professor Jessie Chin at the ACM Conversational User Interfaces conference (CUI 2021), which will be held virtually from July 27-29. The goal of the conference is "to further develop a collaborative community around human-computer interaction issues in speech and language technology, with a specific interest in theory-based and applied scientific issues in the field of speech and text-based conversational user interfaces."

Desai will present the paper, "Hey Google, Can You Help Me Learn," which he coauthored with Chin. In the paper, the researchers assess the possibility of using commercially available smart speakers, such as Echo and Google Home, as informational learning partners.

"During the pandemic, we have seen more and more people turning to their smart speakers for COVID and COVID vaccine-related information. We believe this trend is likely to continue in the future. If we want to make sure that users are receiving an enhanced learning experience using strategies grounded in learning theories, then researchers and designers need to act now and put more efforts in this direction," said Desai, who plans to work with Chin on designing a Voice User Interface to deliver such learning experiences.

Desai's research interests include the usability and prototyping of voice interfaces, in particular the user’s mental model while interacting with these interfaces. He earned his bachelor's degree in computer engineering from Gujarat Technological University in India and his MS in information management from the University of Illinois.

Chin's research aims to advance knowledge in cognitive sciences regarding evolving human interaction with the contemporary information technologies and translating theories in social and behavioral sciences to the design of technologies and interaction experience to promote health communication and behavior across the lifespan. She holds a BS in psychology from National Taiwan University, an MS in human factors, and a PhD in educational psychology with a focus on cognitive science in teaching and learning from the University of Illinois.

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