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Conversational Voice Interfaces: Holy Grail or Pandora's Box?

  • 06 Feb 2024
  • 7:00 PM
  • Online


  • Current TorCHI members

Registration is closed

For close to five decades, at least since the famous "Put that there" MIT demo, voice interfaces have been regarded as the Holy Grail of interaction design. While progress was initially challenged by engineering limitations, the past few years have seen tremendous breakthroughs. Yet, this progress may have also opened the ethical doors to Pandora's Box by failing to support marginalized users that stand to benefit the most from such technologies. This talk argues that the current state of voice interfaces risks excluding these users from critical services transitioning to voice-first interfaces. Grounded in close to three decades of research, this talk deconstructs current design trajectories and discusses how we may approach the design of such interfaces in ways that are more ethical and inclusive.

Cosmin Munteanu (he/him/they/them) is an Associate Professor and Schlegel Research Chair in Technology for Healthy Aging at the Department of Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, and Director of the Technologies for Ageing Gracefully lab. They are a transdisciplinary scholar, drawing from a wide range of disciplines such as engineering, computing sciences, critical theory, and technology and society studies. Cosmin takes a primarily ethnomethodological approach to study how to design intelligent applications that improve access to information, support social connections late in life, and reduce digital marginalization for underrepresented groups such as older adults. Their work is situated at the intersection of user experience design, digital inclusion, aging, conversational user interfaces, and ethics, primarily focusing on the sociotechnical design of inclusive interactions with and for older adults.


6:50 - The web meeting waiting room opens

7:00  - Presentation via ZOOM

8:00 to 8:30 - Networking on ZOOM

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Meeting ID: 750 4059 1300

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