Developing Voice Technologies for Children

XR Stories’ Research Fellow Dr Jenn Chubb has collaborated with BAFTA award-winning digital agency and industry partner of XR Stories, Joi Polloi, on an exciting project that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) voice technologies to engage with children.

The project aimed to develop a meta-story chat tool to allow children to safely engage with characters from their favourite TV shows through voice-assisted smart devices such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Siri.

Voice activated virtual assistants or digital assistants that use voice recognition, speech synthesis and Natural Language Processing (NLP) all use AI tools and are ubiquitous in our lives today. From settling family dinner table arguments or choosing your favourite song, to providing life enhancing access for those with mental or physical impairments, these technologies are increasingly popular across all generations.

Little is known, however, about how children perceive these particular devices and the effects they have on this specific group. The implications of these technologies are increasingly coming under the spotlight and there is a growing movement thinking about the ethics of AI.

It is important that the creative industries consider these new technologies now to create the safest and most beneficial interactive experience.

Dr Jenn Chubb is the lead author on the Interactive storytelling for children: A case-study of design and development considerations for ethical conversational AI journal article which supports this research. Jenn also shares her findings in this blog for DC Labs.

Published on 4 November 2021

Filed under: Research