A new study shows that children learn to say “Bungo” to speed up their smart assistants. They know they are talking to robots and will not use the same tone as humans.
The research was led by an associate professor at the University of Washington Alexis Shinik, Which shows that children’s expressions of robots and humans are different, and their perceptions of social interaction are also subtle.
Parents expressed concern that the sudden tone used to summon and interact with assistants such as Alexa may spread to children’s interactions with humans. The study does not directly address this problem, but provides some assurance that children will use different social behaviors when talking with assistants, parents, or strangers.
“Kids can certainly develop habits from assistants like Alexa, but there are many factors that determine how they treat others,” Hiniker told GeekWire in an email. “These findings suggest that assuming everything they learn from the device Will appear in their interactions with people around them.”
Hniker is an assistant professor at the UW School of Information. He studies the ethical design of ubiquitous technologies and invents alternatives.She is also the director of the University of Washington User authorization laboratory According to its website, the company studies the “love-hate” relationship between people and technology.
The new study recruited 22 families from the Seattle area. Children are taught to use the word “Bungo” when interacting with voice through the interface on the tablet. These instructions were spoken by a researcher to the children through synthesized speech, which was visualized as an animated robot or cactus.
The voice slowed down, “After the text!” will make it speed up. In this part of the experiment, the children were in the room with their parents and a second researcher. Then the children are introduced to a new interface.
Although the new agent did not teach the children to say “Bungo”, the voice did speed up when the children used the word. 77% of children found this connection.
Next is the key part of the experiment, so that the children are only their parents in the room. When parents deliberately start to speak slowly, 68% of children use “Bungo” with them. In the next 24 hours, about half of the children continue to use this word at home to respond to slow speech, but usually in a joke or joke way.
Children are also more conservative towards strangers. Only 18% of 22 children used the word “bungo”, and no one commented on the slowness of speaking.
“Children show very complex social awareness in their transfer behavior,” Hinker said at the University of Washington Press release“They think that the conversation with the second agent is a suitable place to use the word’Bungo’.” For the parents, they think this is an opportunity to establish contact and play. Then for unfamiliar researchers, they turned to a socially safe approach, using more traditional conversation norms, that is, not disturbing the person who is talking to you. “
Researchers from the University of Michigan and George Mason University, as well as researchers from language learning company Duolingo, also participated in the study.No other researchers have received industry support for this research Already reported June at the 2021 Interaction Design and Children’s Conference.
Hiniker pointed out that agents such as Siri or Alexa may still affect children’s habits in subtle ways.
Which resulted in introduce A feature that encourages politeness in devices such as Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids-Echo Dot will say “Thank you for asking so well”, or something similar when a child says please.
Hniker pointed out that children are very excited in the research and can try new dialogue strategies with their parents that they have learned from the device, which shows that designers can come up with similar ways to promote communication with children and their caregivers.
“Parents know their children best and know whether these things affect their own children’s behavior. But after conducting this research, I am more confident that children will distinguish between devices and people well,” Hiniker said in a press release Said in.