Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) have become ubiquitous in everyday life. As these technologies advance, their capabilities of embodying social roles also increase. In this talk, I will present my experiences in designing and developing VUIs, acting as a teacher, a research assistant, a storyteller, and an exercise coach. Moreover, I will also propose a novel method of designing voice interfaces that blur the boundaries between these strictly defined social roles and act closer to how users actually perceive voice interfaces.
Smit Desai is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His primary research focus centers around comprehending the mental models of users as they engage with conversational agents, utilizing innovative research techniques such as metaphor analysis. He leverages this valuable insight to advance the development of conversational agents in diverse social roles, including educators and storytellers. Smit is a Provocation Papers Co-Chair at the upcoming ACM CUI 2024 conference in Luxembourg. His research has yielded publications in esteemed HCI forums like CHI, TOCHI, CSCW, and CUI.