Recent posts

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.

While at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden) in September 2019, I met up with Dr. Jonas Beskow (pictured in the center), co-founder of Furhat Robotics, and Ph.D. student Patrik Jonell (pictured on the right). Together with Georgia Zellou and Taylor Kim, we’re conducting a study to test the role of embodiment and gender in human’s voice-AI interaction with three platforms: Amazon Echo, Nao, and Furhat. 
  • Zellou, G., & Cohn, M. Top-down effects of apparent humanness on vocal alignment toward human and device interlocutors.
  • Zellou, G., Cohn, M., Block, A. Top-down effect of speaker age guise on perceptual compensation for coarticulatory /u/-fronting.

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 Kline, Bruno Ferenc Segedin)

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 Conversations
Dian Yu, Michelle Cohn, Yi Mang Yang, Chun Yen Chen, Weiming Wen, Jiaping Zhang, Mingyang Zhou, Kevin Jesse, Austin Chau, Antara Bhowmick, Shreenath Iyer, Giritheja Sreenivasulu, Sam Davidson, Ashwin Bhandare and Zhou Yu [pdf]

You can see our system demonstration (2 minute video):

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The Gunrock team at the 2018 reception after winning the Alexa Prize!

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 listeners’ patterns of partial compensation for coarticulatory /u/-fronting is influenced by the apparent age of the speaker (Aleese Block, Michelle Cohn & Georgia Zellou)
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Tyler Kline presenting

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Aleese Block presenting via handout during the power outage

Interspeech 2019

Along with Georgia Zellou & Bruno Ferenc Segedin (UC Davis Phonetics Lab), I traveled to Graz, Austria to present some of our research at the 2019 Interspeech Conference!

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Georgia Zellou presenting our research exploring individual variation in speech toward Siri vs. human voices
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Presenting our project looking at alignment toward emotionally expressive productions by Amazon Alexa

Bruno Ferenc Segedin presenting our research exploring phonetic adaptation to human vs. Amazon Alexa voices
Presenting research on acoustic cue weighting for musicians / nonmusicians

See below for links for the papers: 

Collaboration with KTH & Furhat Robotics

While at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden) this September, Michelle Cohn met up with Dr. Jonas Beskow, co-founder of Furhat Robotics, and Ph.D. student Patrik Jonell. Together with Georgia Zellou, they are conducting a study to test the role of embodiment and gender in human’s voice-AI interaction with three platforms: Amazon Echo, Nao, and Furhat. 

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Michelle Cohn, Jonas Beskow, & Patrik Jonell at the KTH Studio