Effects of Filled Pauses on Memory Recall in Human-Robot Interaction in Mandarin Chinese

Xinyi Chen, Andreas Liesenfeld, Shiyue Li, Yao Yao

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


In recent years, voice-AI systems have seen significant improvements in intelligibility and naturalness, but the human experience when talking to a machine is still remarkably different from the experience of talking to a fellow human. In this paper, we explore one dimension of such differences, i.e., the occurrence of disfluency in machine speech and how it may impact human listeners’ processing and memory of linguistic information. We conducted a human-machine conversation task in Mandarin Chinese using a humanoid social robot (Furhat), with different types of machine speech (pre-recorded natural speech vs. synthesized speech, fluent vs. disfluent). During the task, the human interlocutor was tested in terms of how well they remembered the information presented by the robot. The results showed that disfluent speech (surrounded by “um”/“uh”) did not benefit memory retention both in pre-recorded speech and in synthesized speech. We discuss the implications of current findings and possible directions of future work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics
Subtitle of host publication19th International Conference, EPCE 2022 Held as Part of the 24th HCI International Conference, HCII 2022 Virtual Event, June 26 – July 1, 2022 Proceedings
EditorsDon Harris, Wen-Chin Li
PublisherSpringer Cham
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-06086-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-06085-4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2022
Event24th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCII2022) -
Duration: 26 Jun 20221 Jul 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
Volume13307 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Competition24th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCII2022)


  • Human-robot interaction
  • Humanoid robot
  • Spoken disfluency


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