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Friday, May 01, 2020

Better Public Speaking via Speaker Assistants

Clever idea for assistant speaker devices

Anxious About Public Speaking? Your Smart Speaker Could Help
Penn State News
By Jessica Hallman

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) have developed a public-speaking tutor that runs on Amazon Alexa to enable users to engage in cognitive restructuring exercise. The team found that the tutor relieved users’ pre-speech anxiety. As part of the study, participants were guided to interact with an Amazon Echo smart speaker and were randomly assigned to interact with either a highly social Alexa or one that was less social. The researchers found the highly-sociable Alexa provided a better user experience by establishing a sense of interpersonal closeness with the user. Said Penn State's S. Shyam Sundar, "People are not simply anthropomorphizing the machine, but are responding to increased sociability by feeling a sense of closeness with the machine, which is associated with lowered speech anxiety."  ... '

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