As part of our project on House Training the Internet of Things which contributes to the acceptability and adoption stream of PETRAS we have been considering the use of voice interfaces as the medium through which users’ accesses Internet of Things devices. In particular, we are interested in a range of scenarios in which conversations with objects might occur these being: user to object, multiple users to object, object to objects, and conversations mediated through voice assistants. Whilst the workshop considers all scenarios we used the notion of conversations mediated through voice assistants as a way to consider how the complexity of connectivity within the Internet of Things can be conveyed to users. In the workshop we used the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a focus for the discussion of complexity.
We have been running the workshops with a range of participants to get different perceptions of voice interfaces which has been producing some interesting results. For example, at a workshop with Computer Science students at the University of Primorska in Slovenia they were very much focused on technical solutions which might mitigate the requirements of implementing GDPR whereas a workshop in the UK with A level Art and Design Students revolved around how to negotiate privacy requirements of GDPR using the voice assistant as a ‘translator’ of the regulations. In the coming months we will continue to explore voice as a platform for Internet of things Objects in the Home.