Hello!

I’m a speech scientist at UC Davis.

My postdoctoral research investigates how individuals engage with voice-activated artificially intelligent (voice-AI) systems, such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri.

My central research question is whether speech communication with voice-AI is similar or different from speech communication with humans.


NSF Postdoc Fellowship

I am thrilled to be a PI on a two-year NSF-funded grant with Dr. Georgia Zellou (Linguistics), Dr. Zhou Yu (Computer Science), and Dr. Katharine Graf Estes (Psychology) to explore human-voice AI interaction. 

(You can reach more about the project here!)


Voice-AI

How do we talk to Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant? How do we perceive speech produced by voice-AI? …read more!

Music/Speech

Is individual variation in speech perception shaped by a person’s musical experience? …read more!

CA English

How does regional dialect variation shape speech production & perception? …read more!

Publications

Cohn, M., Ferenc Segedin, B., & Zellou, G. (Under review). The acoustic-phonetic properties of voice-AI- and human-DS: Differences by error type and rate.

Zellou, G., Cohn, M., Ferenc Segedin, B. (Under review). Age- and gender-related differences in speech alignment toward humans and voice-AI.

Cohn, M., Predeck, K., Sarian, M., Zellou, G. (In revision). Prosodic alignment toward neutral and emotionally expressive speech interjections: Differences for human and device voices.

Cohn, M. Pycha, A., Zellou, G. (In revision). Intelligibility of face-masked speech depends on speaking style: Comparing casual, smiled, and clear speech.

Cohn, M. & Zellou, G. (2020). Perception of concatenative vs. Neural text-to-speech (TTS): Differences in intelligibility in noise and language attitudes. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH), 1773-1737. [pdf] [Virtual Talk]

Cohn, M., Raveh, E., Predeck, K., Gessinger, I., Möbius, B., & Zellou, G. (In press). Differences in Gradient Emotion Perception: Human vs. Alexa Voices. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH), 1818-1822. [pdf] [Virtual talk]

Zellou, G., & Cohn, M. (2020). Social and functional pressures in vocal alignment: Differences for human and voice-AI interlocutors. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH), 1634-1638. [pdf]

Cohn, M, Sarian, M., Predeck, K., & Zellou, G. (2020). Individual variation in language attitudes toward voice-AI: The role of listeners’ autistic-like traits. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH), 1813-1817. [pdf] [Virtual talk]

Cohn, M., Jonell, P., Kim, T., Beskow, J., Zellou, G. (2020). Embodiment and gender interact in alignment to TTS voices. 2020 Cognitive Science Society Annual Meeting, 220-226. [pdf] [Virtual talk]

Zellou, G., & Cohn, M. (2020). Top-down effects of apparent humanness on vocal alignment toward human and device interlocutors. 2020 Cognitive Science Society Annual Meeting, 3490-3496. [pdf]

Zellou, G., Cohn, M., Block, A. (2020). Top-down effect of speaker age guise on perceptual compensation for coarticulatory /u/-fronting. 2020 Cognitive Science Society Annual Meeting, 3483-3489. [pdf]

Yu, D., Cohn, M., Yang, Y.M., Chen, C., … Yu, Z. (2019). Gunrock: A Social Bot for Complex and Engaging Long Conversations. 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP). [pdf]
Click here for the system demonstration

Cohn, M., Chen, C., & Yu, Z. (2019). A Large-Scale User Study of an Alexa Prize Chatbot: Effect of TTS Dynamism on Perceived Quality of Social Dialog. Proceedings of the 2019 Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue (SIGDial), 293-306. Stockholm, Sweden. [pdf]

Cohn, M., & Zellou, G. (2019). Expressiveness influences human vocal alignment toward voice-AI. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH), 41-45. Graz, Austria. [pdf]

Snyder, C. Cohn, M., Zellou, G. (2019). Individual variation in cognitive processing style predicts differences in phonetic imitation of device and human voices. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH), 116-120. Graz, Austria. [pdf]

Ferenc Segedin, B. Cohn, M., Zellou, G. (2019). Perceptual adaptation to device and human voices:  learning and generalization of a phonetic shift across real and voice-AI talkers. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH), 2310-2314. Graz, Austria.[pdf]

Cohn, M., Zellou, G., Barreda, S. (2019). The role of musical experience in the perceptual weighting of acoustic cues for the obstruent coda voicing contrast in American English. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH), 2250-2254. Graz, Austria. [pdf]

Cohn, M., Ferenc Segedin, B., Zellou, G. (2019). Imitating Siri: Socially-mediated vocal alignment to device and human voices. International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS), 1813-1817. Melbourne, Australia. [pdf]

Brotherton, C., Cohn, M., Zellou, G., Barreda, S. (2019). Sub-regional variation in positioning and degree of nasalization of /æ/ allophones in California. International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS), 2373-2377. Melbourne, Australia. [pdf]

Cohn, M. (2018).Investigating a possible “musician advantage” for speech-in-speech perception: The role of f0 separation. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America, 3(1), 24:1-9. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v3i1.4311.  [pdf]

Cohn, M. (2018) “Investigating the Effect of Musical Training on Speech-in-Speech Perception: The Role of f0, Timing, and Spectral Cues”. Doctoral Dissertation.[pdf]


Selected Talks

Interspeech 2020 Virtual Talk
2020 Cognitive Science Society Virtual Talk
5 Minute Linguist competition at the 2019 Linguistic Society of America (LSA) annual meeting.  (2:30 John McWhorter introduction, Talk 3:23-7:31).

Public Outreach

Virtual Picnic Day 2020

This year’s Picnic Day is going 100% digital in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, a small team of talented RAs (Patty Sandoval, Julian Rambob, Mia Gong, and Marlene Andrade) helped me create Virtual Booth videos! See the other Virtual Picnic Day events here!


News!

New UCD HCI Research Group

In Fall 2020, I launched the UC Davis HCI Research Group: a collective of professors, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate students across campus investigating the dynamics of human-computer interaction.  We have a quarterly talk series (on Zoom): ​Fall Quarter 2020 J​orge Peña​Associate Professor, Dept. of Communication (UCD) Dr. Peña specializes in computer-mediated communication, new media, communication… Continue reading New UCD HCI Research Group

Interspeech 2020

We are thrilled to have several papers accepted to the 2020 Interspeech conference: Cohn, M., & Zellou, G. “Perception of concatenative vs. neural text-to-speech (TTS): Differences in intelligibility in noise and language attitudes” Cohn, M., Sarian, M., Predeck, K., & Zellou, G. “Individual variation in language attitudes toward voice-AI: The role of listeners’ autistic-like traits”… Continue reading Interspeech 2020

Cogsci 2020 (Virtual) Talk

Embodiment and gender interact in alignment to TTS voices (CogSci 2020) UC Davis-KTH Collaboration: Michelle Cohn (UCD), Patrik Jonell (KTH), Taylor Kim (UCD), Jonas Beskow (KTH), Georgia Zellou (UCD)

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.