Ruchen Wen and Alyssa Hanson and Zhao Han and Tom Williams


ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction

Publication Year

Deployed social robots are increasingly relying on wakeword-based interaction, where interactions are human-initiated by a wakeword like “Hey Jibo”. While wakewords help to increase speech recognition accuracy and ensure privacy, there is concern that wakeword-driven interaction could encourage impolite behavior because wakeword-driven speech is typically phrased as commands. To address these concerns, companies have sought to use wake- word design to encourage interactant politeness, through wakewords like “⟨Name⟩, please”. But while this solution is intended to encourage people to use more “polite words”, researchers have found that these wakeword designs actually decrease interactant politeness in text-based communication, and that other wakeword designs could better encourage politeness by priming users to use Indirect Speech Acts. Yet there has been no previous research to directly compare these wakewords designs in in-person, voice-based human-robot interaction experiments, and previous in-person HRI studies could not effectively study carryover of wakeword-driven politeness and impoliteness into human-human interactions. In this work, we conceptually reproduced these previous studies (n=69) to assess how the wakewords “Hey ⟨Name⟩”, “Excuse me ⟨Name⟩”, and “⟨Name⟩, please” impact robot-directed and human-directed politeness. Our results demonstrate the ways that different types of linguistic priming interact in nuanced ways to induce different types of robot-directed and human-directed politeness.