Interaction Studies 13 (3):406-433 (2012)

Abstract
This study investigates the influence of a robot's speech rate. In human communication, slow speech is considered boring, speech at normal speed is perceived as credible, and fast speech is perceived as competent. To seek the appropriate speech rate for robots, we test whether these tendencies are replicated in human-robot interaction by conducting an experiment with four rates of speech: fast, normal, moderately slow, and slow. Our experimental results reveal a rather surprising trend. Participants prefer normal and moderately slow speech to fast speech. A robot that provides normal or moderately slow speech is perceived as competent. We further study how context affects this perception. In a situation where the robot and participants talk while walking, we found that slow speech was the most comprehensible. In addition, slow speech is subjectively perceived as good as moderately slow and normal speech. Keywords: Human-robot interaction; speech rate
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DOI 10.1075/is.13.3.05kan
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