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Being Old Doesn’t Mean Acting Old: How Older Users Interact with Spoken Dialog Systems
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ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS) archive
Volume 2 ,  Issue 1  (May 2009) table of contents
Article No. 2  
Year of Publication: 2009
Maria Wolters  University of Edinburgh
Kallirroi Georgila  University of Edinburgh
Johanna D. Moore  University of Edinburgh
Sarah E. MacPherson  University of Edinburgh
ACM  New York, NY, USA
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Most studies on adapting voice interfaces to older users work top-down by comparing the interaction behavior of older and younger users. In contrast, we present a bottom-up approach. A statistical cluster analysis of 447 appointment scheduling dialogs between 50 older and younger users and 9 simulated spoken dialog systems revealed two main user groups, a “social” group and a “factual” group. “Factual” users adapted quickly to the systems and interacted efficiently with them. “Social” users, on the other hand, were more likely to treat the system like a human, and did not adapt their interaction style. While almost all “social” users were older, over a third of all older users belonged in the “factual” group. Cognitive abilities and gender did not predict group membership. We conclude that spoken dialog systems should adapt to users based on observed behavior, not on age.


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Collaborative Colleagues:
Maria Wolters: colleagues
Kallirroi Georgila: colleagues
Johanna D. Moore: colleagues
Sarah E. MacPherson: colleagues