Loth, S., Guliani, M., Jettka, K., Kopp, S. & De Ruiter, J.P. (2018). Confidence in uncertainty: Error cost and commitment in early speech hypotheses. PLoS One.

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  1. Interactions with artificial agents often lack immediacy because agents respond slower
  2. 20  than their users expect. Automatic speech recognisers introduce this delay by analysing a
  3. 21  user’s utterance only after it has been completed. Early, uncertain hypotheses of incremental
  4. 22  speech recognisers can enable artificial agents to respond more timely. However, these
  5. 23  hypotheses may change significantly with each update. Therefore, an already initiated action
  6. 24  may turn into an error and invoke error cost. We investigated whether humans would use
  7. 25  uncertain hypotheses for planning ahead and/or initiating their response. We designed a
  8. 26  Ghost-in-the-Machine study in a bar scenario. A human participant controlled a bartending
  9. 27  robot and perceived the scene only through its recognisers. The results showed that
  10. 28  participants used uncertain hypotheses for selecting the best matching action. This is
  11. 29  comparable to computing the utility of dialogue moves. Participants evaluated the available
  12. 30  evidence and the error cost of their actions prior to initiating them. If the error cost was low,
  13. 31  the participants initiated their response with only suggestive evidence. Otherwise, they waited
  14. 32  for additional, more confident hypotheses if they still had time to do so. If there was time
  15. 33  pressure but only little evidence, participants grounded their understanding with echo
  16. 34  questions. These findings contribute to a psychologically plausible policy for human-robot
  17. 35  interaction that enables artificial agents to respond more timely and socially appropriately
  18. 36  under uncertainty.