Implementing Acoustic-Prosodic Entrainment in a Conversational Avatar

Rivka Levitan, Štefan Beňuš, Ramiro H. Gálvez, Agustín Gravano, Florencia Savoretti, Marian Trnka, Andreas Weise, Julia Hirschberg

Entrainment, aka accommodation or alignment, is the phenomenon by which conversational partners become more similar to each other in behavior. While there has been much work on some behaviors there has been little on entrainment in speech and even less on how Spoken Dialogue Systems (SDS) which entrain to their users’ speech can be created. We present an architecture and algorithm for implementing acoustic-prosodic entrainment in SDS and show that speech produced under this algorithm conforms to the feature targets, satisfying the properties of entrainment behavior observed in human-human conversations. We present results of an extrinsic evaluation of this method, comparing whether subjects are more likely to ask advice from a conversational avatar that entrains vs. one that does not, in English, Spanish and Slovak SDS.

DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2016-985

Cite as

Levitan, R., Beňuš, &., Gálvez, R.H., Gravano, A., Savoretti, F., Trnka, M., Weise, A., Hirschberg, J. (2016) Implementing Acoustic-Prosodic Entrainment in a Conversational Avatar. Proc. Interspeech 2016, 1166-1170.

author={Rivka Levitan and Štefan Beňuš and Ramiro H. Gálvez and Agustín Gravano and Florencia Savoretti and Marian Trnka and Andreas Weise and Julia Hirschberg},
title={Implementing Acoustic-Prosodic Entrainment in a Conversational Avatar},
booktitle={Interspeech 2016},