Research Topic

Towards Omnipresent and Smart Speech Assistants

About this Research Topic

The functionality of digital voice assistant systems is constantly growing. The attractiveness of such devices is based on their ease of use as they allow to conduct online searches and orders as well as smart home services by simply calling up the device.

However, the implications of voice-based ...

The functionality of digital voice assistant systems is constantly growing. The attractiveness of such devices is based on their ease of use as they allow to conduct online searches and orders as well as smart home services by simply calling up the device.

However, the implications of voice-based interaction are not always clear to the user, especially since today's voice assistants are sometimes only better remote controls. In future, however, they should not only process simple commands, but also enable a natural and smooth interaction and be omnipresent. In addition to an improved speech recognition, this will require enhanced speech understanding and more intelligent dialog guidance.

While state-of-the art systems are mainly conceptualized for young adults and middle-aged people, future systems should adapt to the user in order to meet the needs of different (vulnerable) user groups ranging from young children to the elderly. This will be accompanied by efforts to make systems more understandable and users more sophisticated. Consequently, legal aspects resulting from the spread of voice assistants and the stricter data protection regulations are important.

The goal of this Research Topic is to present the latest advances - both from academia and industry - in the area of voice assistants. We aim at bringing together researchers from the disciplines of human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, and human factors in order to promote interdisciplinary collaborations and cross-fertilization of ideas. More specifically, we are interested in exploring the current landscape and future directions for the emerging topic of voice assistants.

This Research Topic provides an opportunity for scholars and researchers to contribute original research articles as well as review articles that will stimulate the continuing effort on the development of future voice assistants.

In addition to methodological and theoretical contributions, we welcome practical applications at the intersection of artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, and human factors. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

• Applications of voice assistants
• Improvements in dialog handling and dialog management
• Intelligent feedback and turn-taking technologies
• “In the wild” studies of voice assistants
• ubiquitous computing and omnipresent voice assistants
• Reliability of modern voice assistants
• Multi-party interactions – Current state and future directions
• Aspects of perceived quality and user experience
• Coping with uncertainty of voice understanding
• Incorporation of additional speech-based user characteristics
• Techniques enabling (automatic) learning
• Explainable AI – Explain Explainable AI
• Security issues – misbehavior, breaches and possible solutions
• Ethical issues and persuasive interfaces
• Privacy issues and their implications
• Methods to measure and improve acceptance of speech assistants


Keywords: smart assistant, dialog, voice user interface, user experience, conversational interfaces


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

17 April 2021 Manuscript
30 September 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

17 April 2021 Manuscript
30 September 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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