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i-com Band 22 (2023) Heft 1

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  • Zeitschriftenartikel
    Say what you want, I’m not listening! A conversational self-reflection robot that does not parse user speech
    (i-com: Vol. 22, No. 1, 2023) González, Adriana Lorena; Geiskkovitch, Denise Y.; Young, James E.
    We present a conversational social robot behaviour design that draws from psychotherapy research to support individual self-reflection and wellbeing, without requiring the robot to parse or otherwise understand what the user is saying. This simplicity focused approached enabled us to intersect the well-being aims with privacy and simplicity, while achieving high robustness. We implemented a fully autonomous and standalone (not network enabled) prototype and conducted a proof-of-concept study as an initial step to test the feasibility of our behaviour design: whether people would successfully engage with our simple behaviour and could interact meaningfully with it. We deployed our robot unsupervised for 48 h into the homes of 14 participants. All participants engaged with self-reflection with the robot without reporting any interaction challenges or technical issues. This supports the feasibility of our specific behaviour design, as well as the general viability of our non-parsing simplicity approach to conversation, which we believe to be an exciting avenue for further exploration. Our results thus pave the way for further exploring how conversational behaviour designs like ours may support people living with loneliness.
  • Zeitschriftenartikel
    Digital natives aren’t concerned much about privacy, or are they?
    (i-com: Vol. 22, No. 1, 2023) Maier, Edith; Doerk, Michael; Reimer, Ulrich; Baldauf, Matthias
    Voice assistants have become embedded in people’s private spaces and domestic lives where they gather enormous amounts of personal information which is why they evoke serious privacy concerns. The paper reports the findings from a mixed-method study with 65 digital natives, their attitudes to privacy and actual and intended behaviour in privacy-sensitive situations and contexts. It also presents their recommendations to governments or organisations with regard to protecting their data. The results show that the majority are concerned about privacy but are willing to disclose personal data if the benefits outweigh the risks. The prevailing attitude is one characterised by uncertainty about what happens with their data, powerlessness about controlling their use, mistrust in big tech companies and uneasiness about the lack of transparency. Few take steps to self-manage their privacy, but rely on the government to take measures at the political and regulatory level. The respondents, however, show scant awareness of existing or planned legislation such as the GDPR and the Digital Services Act, respectively. A few participants are anxious to defend the analogue world and limit digitalization in general which in their opinion only opens the gate to surveillance and misuse.
  • Zeitschriftenartikel
    Fridolin: participatory design and evaluation of a nutrition chatbot for older adults
    (i-com: Vol. 22, No. 1, 2023) Weber, Philip; Mahmood, Faisal; Ahmadi, Michael; von Jan, Vanessa; Ludwig, Thomas; Wieching, Rainer
    In recent years, emerging approaches to chatbot-guided food coaching and dietary management, while innovative and promising in nature, have often lacked long-term studies. Therefore, with this work, we pursued a participatory approach within a design case study to the co-design and development of a nutrition chatbot for elderly people. Overall, 15 participants were directly involved in the study, of which 12 participated in the initial co-design phase, seven in the first real-world evaluation study over four weeks, and three in the second evaluation study over seven weeks. We contribute to the fields of Human-Computer Interaction by showing how the long-term use of such a chatbot in the area of nutrition looks like, which design implications arise for the development of nutrition chatbots, and how a participatory design approach can be realized to design, evaluate and develop nutrition chatbots.
  • Zeitschriftenartikel
    Addressing loneliness in the workplace through human-robot interaction Development and evaluation of a social office robot concept
    (i-com: Vol. 22, No. 1, 2023) Busch, Melina; Lindermayer, Tim; Schuster, Klara; Zhang, Jonas; von Terzi, Pia
    New work has been a topic for a few years now and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought this trend more into focus, i.e., working remotely became more popular. However, besides various advantages, there is the risk of loneliness in employees, which can negatively affect their work performance and mental health. Research in different domains suggests that social robots could reduce loneliness. Since we were interested in whether and how such findings are transferable to the office context, we developed and tested a concept for a social office robot. More specifically, we first conducted a cultural probes study with white-collar workers to gain information about workplace loneliness and its drivers. Second, we explored design possibilities for a social office robot in a focus group. Based on the results, we created a concrete concept, Luca, which we finally evaluated and optimized with the help of interviews with participants from various industries. The present work contributes to HRI research and practice, e.g., by providing design recommendations for the implementation of a social office robot. Future research could investigate the effectiveness of a social office robot intervention in field studies. Next to implications for research and practice, potential limitations are discussed.
  • Zeitschriftenartikel
    PrintAssist—a conversational human-machine interface for 3D printers
    (i-com: Vol. 22, No. 1, 2023) Jasche, Florian; Weber, Philip; Liu, Shi; Ludwig, Thomas
    3D printers are no longer found only in industry, universities or makerspaces but now are increasingly used in domestic settings. Personal fabrication will increase in the coming years, and 3D printing will play an important role in this process. Due to technology and price development, 3D printers are becoming established among casual users at home. However, there are still many hurdles in the use of 3D printers that interfere with their appropriation in everyday life. In this paper, we investigate how chatbots can overcome these hurdles and support onboarding to 3D printing. Furthermore, we explore how chatbots can be used as a human–machine interface and facilitate interaction with 3D printers for both novice and expert users. In a research-through-design approach, we have created a fully functional chatbot that introduces users to 3D printing and helps them perform typical tasks when operating 3D printers.
  • Zeitschriftenartikel
    Special issue on "conversational agents" – Editorial
    (i-com: Vol. 22, No. 1, 2023) Ludwig, Thomas; Weber, Philip; Maedche, Alexander; Riener, Andreas
    Conversational agents have become omnipresent in our daily life. We are surrounded by various conversational agents, from Siri and Alexa to Google Assistant and the recent ChatGPT. They therefore have also become an increasingly popular research topic in the fields of Human-Computer Interaction and Information Systems. Conversational agents are software systems that use natural language to interact with humans, encompassing text-based chatbots and speech-based voice assistants. Conversational agents were used to automate simple routine communication tasks in various application areas for a long time. However, due to improved algorithms and the increasing volume of data, conversational agents are now also being used for more complex tasks, such as fostering dialogic interaction for informal learning or supporting mental health. For this special issue, we received a diverse set of submissions that showcase the latest advancements in the field of conversational agents. After a rigorous peer-review process, we are excited to present a selection of six thought-provoking and impactful papers. The first paper, “PrintAssist—A Conversational Human-Machine Interface for 3D Printers” by Jasche et al., pre-sents an innovative conversational agent that enables a more intuitive way of interacting with 3D printers. In “Say What you Want, I’m not Listening! A conversational social robot behavior design for self-reflection that does not parse user speech” by Young et al., the authors explore the design of a conversational social robot that encourages self-reflection without actually listening to the user’s speech. The third paper, “Fridolin: Participatory Design and Evaluation of a Nutrition Chatbot for Older Adults” by Weber et al., presents a participatory design process for a nutrition chatbot aimed at improving the health of older adults. In “Addressing loneliness in the workplace through human-robot interaction” by Schuster et al., the authors propose a novel approach to address loneliness in the workplace by using a conversational agent as a social companion. The fifth paper, “Authentication Methods for Voice Services on Smart Speakers – A Multi-Method Study on Perceived Security and Ease of Use” by Baldauf et al., investigates users’ perceptions of security and ease of use of different authentication methods for voice services on smart speakers. Finally, “Digital Natives Aren’t Concerned Much About Privacy, or Are They?” by Maier et al., explores the privacy concerns of digital natives when interacting with conversational agents. We believe that this special issue offers a glimpse into the latest developments in the field of conversational agents and showcases their potential in various application areas. We hope that it will inspire researchers and practitioners to continue to explore new and innovative ways to use conversational agents in the future. Finally, we would like to mention that this text was first generated by ChatGPT, a large language model trained and offered by OpenAI. This showcases the potential of conversational agents and natural language processing technologies to automate various tasks, including writing. By using input information and prompts, ChatGPT can generate coherent and informative text that can be used for various purposes. Note: Even the previous disclaimer was written by ChatGPT. For this purpose, we took the full text of the Special Issues call, added only the titles of the accepted papers and the first author with “et al.” (the abstracts of the accepted papers were not added), and then made only minor adjustments to the text. The abbreviated original prompt was as follows: “Write an editorial text for the Special Issue on “Conversational Agents”. Write an introduction. Keep in mind that the submission deadline has passed and a selection of papers have already been reviewed and will be published along with the introductory text. The selected papers are the following: – [“Title of the first paper”] by [Last name of the first author] et al. – [“Title of the second paper”] […] Add a section at the end to add that the text was generated by ChatGPT to showcase the upcoming potential of CAs. Also state and explain how this text was generated. Use the following information from the call as a basis for your writing: [Our full call for papers]”
  • Zeitschriftenartikel
    Authentication methods for voice services on smart speakers – a multi-method study on perceived security and ease of use
    (i-com: Vol. 22, No. 1, 2023) Renz, Andreas; Neff, Thomas; Baldauf, Matthias; Maier, Edith
    With the increasing proliferation of security-critical voice-based services such as voice banking, user authentication on smart speakers is becoming a vital requirement. Prior research on verifying the speaker’s identity has been taken a technical perspective predominantly, while respective user-centered research is scarce. To investigate authentication methods for smart speakers from a user’s perspective, we conducted a multi-method experiment. In a comprehensive online survey (n = 696) and a comparative lab study (n = 18) with an advanced functional prototype we studied 6 authentication methods (spoken PIN, biometrics, app with button/voice confirmation, card reader, sound authentication) regarding their perceived security and ease of use. While token-based authentication approaches (in particular an authenticator app on a smartphone) typically are perceived as more secure, they are found inferior when it comes to the ease of use. The currently most frequently used authentication method for smart speakers, the spoken PIN method, seems to represent a compromise between security and ease of use. The sophisticated sound authentication was appreciated for its ease of use, however, was rated worst regarding the perceived security.