Can speech be used for alarm displays in ‘process control’ type tasks?

Baber, C., Stanton, N.A. and Stockley, A. (1992) Can speech be used for alarm displays in ‘process control’ type tasks? Behaviour and Information Technology, 11, (4), 216-226. (doi:10.1080/01449299208924340).


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There has been much research into the feasibility of speech in aircraft cockpits, but little in human supervisory control tasks. Speech displays can provide a number of benefits over conventional, visual displays, particularly as a means of providing alarm information. We discuss the term 'alarm', and suggest that different alarm situations will have different information requirements. Thus, a single type of alarm display may not be suitable for the complete range of situations encountered in the control room. We investigated the use of speech for different 'alarm-initiated actions': recording, urgency rating, location identification, and action specification. These tasks varied in terms of difficulty, and this affected performance. We also varied the quality of speech, comparing synthesized with human speech. While speech quality affected performance on the recording task, we found that task difficulty interacted with speech quality on the other tasks. This means that definable 'trade-offs' exist between the use of speech and the situation in which it is to be used.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/01449299208924340
ISSNs: 0144-929X (print)
1362-3001 (electronic)
Keywords: alarm, speech synthesis, alarm-initiated actions
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Civil Engineering and the Environment
ePrint ID: 73935
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:06

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