Recent posts

Public Outreach: UC Davis Take our Children to Work (TOC) Day

We’re hosting a virtual event at the UC Davis Phonetics Lab (Dept. of Linguistics) on Thursday, April 28th.

Come learn about speech science with Siri, Alexa, and Google assistant! Kids (ages 7-12) can participate in a real science experiment with a voice assistant (note that a parent must be present to consent). You will need a computer that can play sound and allow you to type/click (no other devices are needed). The experiment will take about 5 minutes. After, you’ll see a short presentation about our research, including an overview of the lab.

Invited talk: EU COST Action “Language in the Human-Machine Era”

I’m looking forward to giving a talk Friday, March 25, 2022 for the EU COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action network for “Language in the Human-Machine Era“.

Speech interactions with voice assistants: a window to human language and cognition

Millions of people now regularly interface with technology using spoken language, such as with voice assistants (e.g., Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant). Yet, our scientific understanding of these interactions is still in its infancy. My research explores the cognitive factors shaping speech production, perception, and learning in interactions with voice assistants, using methods from psycholinguistics and acoustic-phonetics.
To register for the talk, go to:

Siri- vs. human-DS paper accepted to Journal of Phonetics!

I’m thrilled that my paper with Georgia Zellou and Bruno Ferenc Segedin has been accepted to the Journal of Phonetics!

The paper examines acoustic-phonetic adjustments when people talk to a Siri vs. a naturally recorded human voice. We find prosodic differences (e.g., increased intensity, smaller f0 range in Siri-DS) as well as some targeted adjustments (vowel hyperarticulation in response to an error made by Siri). Across two experiments varying in error rate, we see differences in the way these register adaptions emerge.

[[Update: Now available online!]]