I’m a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis.

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

NSF Postdoc Fellowship

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

(You can reach more about the project here!)

Voice-AI interaction

How do we adjust our speech toward Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant? Do we exhibit pro-social behavior toward these systems? How do we perceive human-like elements from these devices (e.g., emotion)? …read more!

Music & speech

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

Dialectal variation

How do sociolinguistic patterns of change come about across different parts of California? Across different age groups? … read more!


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!

CogSci 2020 Papers

We are thrilled that three of our papers have been accepted to the 2020 Cognitive Science Society Meeting! Cohn, M., Jonell, P., Kim, T., Beskow, J., Zellou, G. Embodiment and gender interact in alignment to TTS voices. Zellou, G., & Cohn, M. Top-down effects of apparent humanness on vocal alignment toward human and device interlocutors.… Continue reading CogSci 2020 Papers

LSA 2020

We’ll present two projects at the annual Linguistic Society of America (LSA) meeting in January: California listeners’ patterns of partial compensation for coarticulatory /u/-fronting is influenced by the apparent age of the speaker (Aleese Block, Michelle Cohn, Georgia Zellou) Conversational role influences speech alignment toward digital assistant and human voices (Georgia Zellou, Michelle Cohn, Tyler… Continue reading LSA 2020

EMNLP 2019 Paper

Congrats to the Gunrock team, led by Prof. Zhou Yu, for our demo paper acceptance at the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP) in Hong Kong! Gunrock: A Social Bot for Complex and Engaging Long ConversationsDian Yu, Michelle Cohn, Yi Mang Yang, Chun Yen Chen, Weiming Wen, Jiaping Zhang, Mingyang Zhou,… Continue reading EMNLP 2019 Paper

CAMP3 Talks

Great job to Tyler Kline and Aleese Block who presented two of our projects at the California Meeting on Psycholinguistics (CAMP3) this weekend at UC Santa Cruz!​ Speech Alignment of Females toward Voice-AI and Human Voices: Conversational Role Influences Phonetic Imitation in a Map Task (Tyler Kline, Bruno Ferenc Segedin, Michelle Cohn & Georgia Zellou)  California… Continue reading CAMP3 Talks


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