Prosody Modifications for Question-Answering in Voice-Only Settings

  • Aleksandr Chuklin
  • Aliaksei Severyn
  • Johanne R. Trippas
  • Enrique Alfonseca
  • Hanna Silen
  • Damiano Spina
arXiv:1806.03957, 2018

Many popular form factors of digital assistant---such as Amazon Echo, Apple Homepod or Google Home---enable the user to hold a conversation with the assistant based only on the speech modality. The lack of a screen from which the user can read text or watch supporting images or video presents unique challenges. In order to satisfy the information need of a user, we believe that the presentation of the answer needs to be optimized for such voice-only interactions. In this paper we propose a task of evaluating usefulness of prosody modifications for the purpose of voice-only question answering. We describe a crowd-sourcing setup where we evaluate the quality of these modifications along multiple dimensions corresponding to the informativeness, naturalness, and ability of the user to identify the key part of the answer. In addition, we propose a set of simple prosodic modifications that highlight important parts of the answer using various acoustic cues.

  title={Prosody Modifications for Question-Answering in Voice-Only Settings},
  author={Chuklin, Aleksandr and Severyn, Aliaksei and Trippas, Johanne R. and Alfonseca, Enrique and 
                Silen, Hanna and Spina, Damiano},
  journal={arXiv preprint arXiv:1806.03957},
Damiano Spina
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