The role of valence, dominance, and pitch in social perceptions of artificial intelligence (AI) conversational agents' voices

Victor Kenji M. Shiramizu, Anthony J Lee, Daria Altenburg, David R. Feinberg, Benedict C. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

There is growing concern that artificial intelligence conversational agents (e.g., Siri, Alexa) reinforce voice-based social stereotypes. Because little is known about social perceptions of conversational agents' voices, we investigated (1) the dimensions that underpin perceptions of these synthetic voices and (2) the role that acoustic parameters play in these perceptions. Study 1 (N = 504) found that perceptions of synthetic voices are underpinned by Valence and Dominance components similar to those previously reported for natural human stimuli and that the Dominance component was strongly and negatively related to voice pitch. Study 2 (N = 160) found that experimentally manipulating pitch in synthetic voices directly influenced dominance-related, but not valence-related, perceptions. Collectively, these results suggest that greater consideration of the role that voice pitch plays in dominance-related perceptions when designing conversational agents may be an effective method for controlling stereotypic perceptions of their voices and the downstream consequences of those perceptions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22479
Number of pages14
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • artificial intelligence (AI)
  • social stereotypes
  • gender stereotypes
  • voice
  • social perceptions

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