A new study examined if kids hanging out with Alexa or Siri changed their behaviour towards their fellow human beings.
The research has been published in the ‘Interaction Design and Children Conference Journal’. The team had a conversational agent teach 22 children between the ages of 5 and 10 to use the word “bungo” to ask them to speak more quickly. The children readily used the word when a robot slowed down its speech. While most children did use bungo in conversations with their parents, it became a source of play or an inside joke about acting like a robot. But when a researcher spoke slowly to the children, the kids rarely used bungo, and often patiently waited for the researcher to finish talking before responding.
“We were curious to know whether kids were picking up conversational habits from their everyday interactions with Alexa and other agents,” said senior author Alexis Hiniker, a UW assistant professor in the Information School.
“A lot of the existing research looks at agents designed to teach a particular skill, like math. That’s somewhat different from the habits a child might incidentally acquire by chatting with one of these things,” she added.
The researchers recruited 22 families from the Seattle area to participate in a five-part study. This project took place before the covid-19 pandemic, so each child visited a lab with one parent and one researcher. For the first part of the study, children spoke to a simple animated robot or cactus on a tablet screen that also displayed the text of the conversation.
On the back end, another researcher who was not in the room asked each child questions, which the app translated into a synthetic voice and played for the child. The researcher listened to the child’s responses and reactions over speakerphone.
At first, as children spoke to one of the two conversational agents (the robot or the cactus), it told them, “When I’m talking, sometimes I begin to speak very slowly. You can say ‘bungo’ to remind me to speak quickly again.”
After a few minutes of chatting with a child, the app switched to a mode where it would periodically slow down the agent’s speech until the child said “bungo.” Then the researcher pressed a button to immediately return the agent’s speech to normal speed. During this session, the agent reminded the child to use bungo if needed. The conversation continued until the child had practiced using bungo at least three times.
The majority of the children, 64 per cent, remembered to use bungo the first time the agent slowed its speech, and all of them learned the routine by the end of this session.
Then the children were introduced to the other agent. This agent also started to periodically speak slowly after a brief conversation at normal speed. While the agent’s speech also returned to normal speed once the child said “bungo,” this agent did not remind them to use that word. Once the child said “bungo” five times or let the agent continue speaking slowly for five minutes, the researcher in the room ended the conversation.
By the end of this session, 77 per cent of the children had successfully used bungo with this agent.
At this point, the researcher in the room left. Once alone, the parent chatted with the child and then, as with the robot and the cactus, randomly started speaking slowly. The parent didn’t give any reminders about using the word bungo.
Only 19 parents conducted this part of the study. Of the children who completed this part, 68 per cent used bungo in conversation with their parents. Many of them used it with affection. Some children did so enthusiastically, often cutting their parents off in mid-sentence. Others expressed hesitation or frustration, asking their parents why they were acting like robots.
When the researcher returned, they had a similar conversation with the child: normal at first, followed by slower speech. In this situation, only 18 per cent of the 22 children used bungo with the researcher. None of them commented on the researcher’s slow speech, though some of them made knowing eye contact with their parents.
“The kids showed really sophisticated social awareness in their transfer behaviours,” Hiniker said.
“They saw the conversation with the second agent as a place where it was appropriate to use the word bungo. With parents, they saw it as a chance to bond and play. And then with the researcher, who was a stranger, they instead took the socially safe route of using the more traditional conversational norm of not interrupting someone who’s talking to you,” she added.
After this session in the lab, the researchers wanted to know how bungo would fare “in the wild,” so they asked parents to try slowing down their speech at home over the next 24 hours.
Of the 20 parents who tried this at home, 11 reported that the children continued to use bungo. These parents described the experiences as playful, enjoyable, and “like an inside joke.” For the children who expressed scepticism in the lab, many continued that behaviour at home, asking their parents to stop acting like robots or refusing to respond.
“There is a very deep sense for kids that robots are not people, and they did not want that line blurred,” Hiniker said.
“So for the children who didn’t mind bringing this interaction to their parents, it became something new for them. It wasn’t like they were starting to treat their parent like a robot. They were playing with them and connecting with someone they love,” she added.
Although these findings suggested that children will treat Siri differently from the way they treat people, it’s still possible that conversations with an agent might subtly influence children’s habits such as using a particular type of language or conversational tone when they speak to other people, Hiniker said.
But the fact that many kids wanted to try out something new with their parents suggests that designers could create shared experiences like this to help kids learn new things.
“I think there’s a great opportunity here to develop educational experiences for conversational agents that kids can try out with their parents. There are so many conversational strategies that can help kids learn and grow and develop strong interpersonal relationships, such as labelling your feelings, using ‘I’ statements, or standing up for others,” Hiniker said.
“We saw that kids were excited to playfully practice a conversational interaction with their parent after they learned it from a device. My other takeaway for parents is not to worry. Parents know their kids best and have a good sense of whether these sorts of things shape their own child’s behaviour. But I have more confidence after running this study that kids will do a good job of differentiating between devices and people,” she added.
Other co-authors on this paper are Amelia Wang and Jonathan Tran, both of whom completed this research as UW undergraduate students majoring in human-centered design and engineering; Mingrui Zhang, a UW doctoral student in the iSchool; Jenny Radesky, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School; and Kiley Sobel, a senior user experience researcher at Duolingo.
A new study examined if kids hanging out with Alexa or Siri changed their behaviour towards their fellow human beings
The Daily Guardian is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@thedailyguardian) and stay updated with the latest headlines.
For the latest news Download The Daily Guardian App.
‘Suspense thriller’ is a genre that leverages itself to the audio space: Anshuman Jha
In this exclusive interview, actor Anshuman Jha talks about his debut in the audio-based medium with the audiobook ‘Bombay Stranglers Ke Khauffnaak Tapes.’ He extensively describes his experience working on the project with writer Piyush Jha.
Actor Anshuman Jha’s debut Audible Original, Bombay Strangler Ke Khauffnaak Tapes, written by author Piyush Jha, is gaining acclaim from the fans of the emerging community of audiobook-lovers. We hosted Anshuman for a frank interview as part of our special series, NewsX India A-List. Below are the excerpts from the interview:
We firstly asked the actor about what convinced him to take up his first audio-based project. To this, Anshuman replied, “For an audio debut for me, something had to be unique and exciting enough.” Expressing gratitude for the role, he said, “All credit for it should go to Mr Piyush Jha who’s an exceptional writer. He has written some bestselling books including Mumbaistan which I really like.” According to the actor, Piyush had made up his mind to cast Anshuman as the narrator in the ideation stage itself.
Talking about the audiobook, Anshuman stated, “Bombay Strangler… is essentially a suspense thriller. It’s a genre I personally love. It’s a genre that also leverages itself to the audio space.” He described his experience with the audio-based medium and said, “I have heard it and I was really amazed because it sucks you into the universe, and to think that you don’t have any visuals and still be so mesmerized and so affected by what you’re listening.”
“It can be done simultaneously. So you could be driving and listening; you could be cooking and listening… It’s not something that needs all your focused attention,” said Anshuman while talking about why the new medium is a disruptive force in the entertainment industry.
We then asked Jha about the extra efforts he had to put in to convey expressions using just his voice.”A bit of both because by nature, the way I am, I can’t do anything just like that. So I asked Piyush sir what’s the space,” said the actor. He added, “The beauty about Bombay Strangler… is that it happens over a space of ‘X’ number of days.” Explaining that the script required a lot of tension in the storytelling, Anshuman said, “There had to be a lot of energy.”
Speaking about challenges he had to overcome for his debut role in an audiobook, Anshuman revealed, “For me, the preparation was how to break my pre-conceived notion of being subtle with voice because I had to be subtle in a different way.” Appreciating the support he received from the production team, the actor stated, “I’m very, very grateful that I got to be a part of it.”
For our last question, we asked Anshuman about his plans for 2022, to which he revealed his biggest plan of the year, “I think I’m gonna get married this year, firstly. That’s gonna happen because it’s been long pending and we’ve been waiting for COVID to go.” He further expressed hope of the world getting rid of the pandemic. “Before a flame extinguishes, it gives its last sparks. So I hope it’s the last bit that it’s doing and now it leaves us,” said the actor hopefully.
Watch the full interview here:
I did not know the magnitude of this entire world: Shefali Shah
In this exclusive interview, Shefali Shah tells us about her experience working on her latest project, ‘Human’. She also speaks about her professional relationship with her husband and the series’ producer, Vipul Shah.
Shefali Shah’s latest project, Human, is based on the underbelly of the global pharmaceutical industry. The show has received praises from the audience and critics alike. We hosted Shefali for a frank interview as part of our special series, NewsX India A-List. Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Our first question to Shefali was about the part that compelled her to take up Human. Shefali said about the script, “When I read it, I was shocked.” She continued, “I have read about trials and I have heard about it, but it is just the surface, you know. There is so much that goes on behind getting a drug from manufacturing it to testing it to getting it into the market.” The actor went on to say about the project, “The script and the role [were] unlike anything I’ve ever done before.”
Speaking about the reality of drug testing in the pharmaceutical industry, Shefali stated, “Yes, we do not know the backstory and we’ll probably never know the entire backstory of it.” She further said, “When you take a cosmetic product, it says, ‘not tested on animals,’ but when you take a strip of medicine, there’s no such disclaimer put on it.” Narrating her amazement on coming across the script involving human drug trials, the actor recounted, “Until I heard the whole theme from Mozez and Vipul, I did not know the magnitude of this entire world…and everything that goes into it.” Commenting on the theme of the series and its relevance in a world marred by a pandemic, Shefali told us, “It’s a very pertinent topic, irrespective of the situation we are in.”
Talking about her love for thriller movies, Shefali said, “I love watching thrillers. As far as doing is concerned, I’m a very greedy actor, and rightfully so, and I want to do every genre possible.”
Describing her professional relationship with her husband and Human producer, Vipul Shah, Shefali said, “Whether it’s from Vipul or somebody else, when a project comes to me, he’s the first one I discuss it [with].” The actor added, “The same goes with Vipul. When he’s planning something, I’m the one he’ll talk to, or I’m probably one of the first ones to read his script.” Stressing upon the professionalism the couple maintains in the industry, Shefali revealed, “I will never tell him to make something for me, one. Two, he will never offer me something if it’s not worth my value.”
“OTT has opened horizons for all creative people. And the best part of it is, it is not determined by the box office,” said Shefali while putting forward her opinion on OTT platforms. She continued the thought, “It is not determined by the prototypes that were required in commercial films: a hero, a heroine, a star system, a dance number, a fight sequence etc.” Shefali described the entertainment industry after the emergence of OTT platforms as “rich and thriving.” She also said, “As an actor, it’s(OTT) opened a completely different world for me.”
Watch the full interview here:
I love the fact that people still call me ‘Anandi’: Avika Gor
In the exclusive conversation with NewsX, Avika shared her experiences of working in the South film industry, her latest movie releases and much more.
Recognized for her stellar performance in the show ‘Balika Vadhu’, actor Avika Gor recently joined us for a fun chat. In the exclusive conversation with NewsX, Avika shared her experience of working in the South film industry, her latest movie releases, and much more.
Speaking about her journey from working as ‘Anandi’ in Balika Vadhu to venturing into the South film industry, Avika Gor said, “The journey has been lovely. The kind of support I have received from my audience has been overwhelming at times because they make me feel like a part of their family. I don’t anybody has ever got this amount of love. I feel blessed.”
The actor further revealed how it has been like to break out of the character of ‘Anandi’ and create her own identity. She said, “I honestly don’t want to get out of that character. I love the fact that people still call me ‘Anandi’. It’s just a part of me and I don’t want to get rid of it. Also, the kind of movies and characters I am approached for, all have a sense of innocence I had when I played ‘Anandi’. It’s been 14 to15 years since I’ve been working and people aren’t bored of me.”
Talking about the reactions she received on her recent movie ‘NET’ available on Zee5, Avika exclaimed, ‘Of course, I loved the response. NET has been of those experimental movies that I was a part of and I never thought people would like me in a thriller. I always thought Rom-Com is my zone and people enjoy me in that, but this movie was an experiment and I am glad I showed the courage to do something very different. Another movie named ‘#BRO’ that I worked for was very different again. Characters that I play are all challenging and it just feels amazing to do a different kind of work and not just one character for 7 to 8 years. This is also the reason why I took a step away from the TV and took up all these challenges.”
When asked if the audience could witness her comeback on TV, the actor revealed that she is currently tied up with a lot of movie work and so her comeback is difficult. Avika then spoke about the difference between the Indian television space and the South film industry. “There is a lot of difference in the two industries, but the biggest similarity that I have found is that people love their work. They work with a lot of passion and that’s there in any industry. I have been blessed to be a part of such amazing teams everywhere that it’s always fun to be around them.”
Lastly, the NET actor suggested the viewers to get themselves vaccinated when they are allowed to.
Young entrepreneurs should not expect their businesses to boom in a short period: Subhashis Kar
In the exclusive conversation, he spoke about how Techbooze can give a kick-start to the startups that are looking for funding and shared his journey as a CEO of the company.
Subhashis Kar, CEO, Techbooze Consultancy recently joined NewsX for an enriching chat as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation, he spoke about how Techbooze can give a kick-start to the startups that are looking for funding and shared his journey as a CEO of the company.
We started the conversation by asking the Subhashis about his startup, Techbooze. Sharing insights about his company, the CEO said, “Techbooze is a 360-degree consultancy service provider. We are also into startup consultancy. We have a headquarter in India and our bases are spread across 53 other nations throughout the globe. Moreover, till now we have funded about 200 to 250 startups across the globe. We provide A to Z facilities, starting from legal facilities to DPR requirements. We provide whatever is required from the initial boundaries to the exit boundaries.”
He further discussed how Techbooze helps startups raise funding for themselves. “There is a very defined process in our company to help startups avail funding. When a startup comes to us, they have to come from a website. Over there they can start up all the startup details with their pitch date and their plans such as business and financial plans. Once they submit the plans, we name it an investors forum. Once a startup is named as an investors forum, the plans of the company are transferred to the respective departments and there they filter it out. Once it is filtered out, a summarized plan is created. After this, the plan is sent to the investor’s forum in the UK called UNILIF (United Nations International Legislation for Investment Forum). It is a pool of around 419 investors worldwide including Capital Tiger Global. Now, if these members of the forum find any startup valuable, they let us know and then we connect with the respective startup. We make further plans which take around 2 to 3 months.”
Subhashis went on to tell us about his journey of becoming the CEO of Techbooze. He revealed, ” Techbooze was a UK-based company company earlier and I used to be a salesman in the company. They later changed the company into a real estate funding company. Thereafter in 2017 end, I saw the booming potential of the startups from the ‘Startup India’ campaign. So, I wanted to explore this segment of the business. When I spoke to my company about my interests, they did not agree with my visions. After that in 2019, along with the board members of the company, we raised some equity funding and we took over this company from the UK-based firm. From there on the journey started and I made an exponential growth.”
Mr. Kar termed his company Techbooze as his ‘baby’. He said, “Techbooze is like my baby, it started in my hands and whatever it is right now, it is still in my hands. I take care of everything in this company including sales, management, and even operations.”
Lastly, the CEO suggested young entrepreneurs not expect their businesses to boom in a short period. He suggested, ” You should have a plan from A to Z. If you require help, companies like ours are there to help you out for free initially. They shouldn’t be focused on the profitability of the company only, instead they should focus on forming a stable idea first.”
My journey started with a door slammed on my face: Chinu Kala
In this exclusive interview, we host the woman whose journey is a rags-to-riches story come true. From a daily income of Rs. 40 on a good day to owning a company with an annual turnover of Rs. 40 crore, Chinu Kala has seen the best and worst of the world.
Chinu Kala is the founder of the imitation jewellery brand, Rubans Accessories. She is an inspiration for women seeking to break the glass ceiling and achieve what they desire. We hosted Kala for an interview as part of our special series, NewsX India A-List. Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Opening the interview by explaining to the viewers about her brand’s unique name and the meaning behind it, Chinu said, “‘Rubans’ means ribbons in French, and for us, it’s a ribbon that binds the gift of life together.” We were curious to know about Kala’s journey, so she narrated to us, “My journey started long back. I was just 15 years old and I had a tiff with my parents–my father, and now I feel it was, maybe, a regular tiff that every teenager has with their parents but maybe I was too adamant and stubborn.” As a result of the fierce squabble with her father, a “strong-headed” Chinu left her family in her teenage years. Further narrating her story, Kala said, “I just had Rs. 300 in my pocket, I had two pairs of Salwar-Kameez, I took that and I left home.” Chinu spent several days & nights on the platforms of Mumbai Central where Vada Pav replaced the three square meals she used to eat at home.
Kala told us that a kind lady who came to her rescue helped her land a job as a door-to-door salesgirl for household products. Chinu then revealed to us about the experience from her first day at the job. “She just slammed the door on my face,” said the entrepreneur while talking about the lady to whom she was about to make her first sales pitch. “I think that thing made me strong, much tougher,” said Chinu. Finishing her response, Chinu said, “A door slammed on my face, that’s how I started.”
The hardest years of her life taught Chinu a very valuable lesson: “Hunger to survive is a very big motivator.” The entrepreneur told us, “We used to ring the doorbell of hundred houses, and at the end of the day, I used to sell one or two pieces. So I used to get, like, Rs. 20-40 at the end of the day after ringing the doorbell of hundred houses.” She then revealed that she also took up work as a waitress and a receptionist, among other odd jobs, during those years.
For our next question, we asked Kala about how the idea for Rubans came to be, to which she replied, “People had their favourite streets for street shopping of jewellery, people had stores in different cities where they would go and buy jewellery, so I started thinking that why is there no brand that is catering to this entire need of jewellery.” Kala saw this space in the market and started Rubans Accessories which addressed this problem for women.
Kala finished the interview with a special message for female entrepreneurs. She said, “Put your work on a very high pedestal.” Urging women entrepreneurs to not hesitate in making work the top priority among their other duties, Kala said, “Tell the people around you that it’s equally important.”
Watch the full interview here:
TRICOLOUR INSPIRED FASHION IDEAS TO TRY THIS REPUBLIC DAY
Republic Day is right around the corner and for those who are wondering how to seize the spirit of the patriotic day, a gorgeous tricolour-inspired outfit would instantly match your vibe to that of the day.
While the laziest idea would be to grab anything that is white, green or orange, if you plan your outfit a little in advance, you can fashionably stand out from the rest.
1. ORANGE SKIRT
A bright, poppy orange skirt is an investment. Grab one whenever you find it, whether in a mall, a flea market or online. Not only an orange skirt will make you look perfectly dressed for the day, but the vibrant colour would add a note of freshness to your look. Pair it with a white top or a shirt and you are ready to rock, patriotically.
2. GREEN BOTTOMS
Pants, palazzos or shorts the options are many. Choose one which you have available or would prefer based on the weather in your area.
3. EYE MAKEUP AND NAIL ART
This one is for experimenting and stepping beyond the first thought of putting the colours in your outfit.
If you want to play with your makeup, then a tricolour-inspired eyeshadow should do the trick. This is perfect for those who wish to dress as per the theme but do not have any outfit working for them. Nail Art is another exciting, easy and creative idea to style with the tricolour theme.
Jewellery is another great hack for those not interested in choosing their clothes in tricolour. Pieces of jewellery such as earrings, necklaces and rings can add that sparkle and colour to your outfit.
Those who are interested in crafts can also DIY their jewellery using quilling paper and beads.
5. COMBINING ALL THREE
here are ideas of using all three colours together by creating a three-piece outfit, without risking a fashion disaster. You can mix and match in multiple ways
a. A full white outfit paired with a green jacket and an orange handbag.
b. A casual green tee, white lowers and orange shoes.
c. An orange-white cord-set, paired with a green denim jacket.
d. A green puffy jacket, orange scarf, white backpack and your favourite regular jeans.
e. A full green outfit with white shoes and an orange cap.
The final and most essential touch is lots of confidence to carry your look well.
With these gorgeous outfit ideas up your sleeve, you can easily gather compliments at an R-Day get-together and likes on your Instagram profile.
Opinion1 year ago
South Block’s mistakes will now be corrected by Army
Sports2 years ago
When a bodybuilder breaks Shoaib’s record
News2 years ago
PM Modi must take governance back from babus
Spiritually Speaking1 year ago
Spiritual beings having a human experience
News2 years ago
Chinese general ordered attack on Indian troops: US intel report
Legally Speaking2 years ago
Law relating to grant, rejection and cancellation of bail
Sports2 years ago
West Indies avoid follow-on, England increase lead to 219
Royally Speaking1 year ago
The young royal dedicated to the heritage of Jaipur