Turn-taking workshop report

Last Wednesday Emina Kurtić and I held a multi-disciplinary workshop on Turn-taking in Conversation, under the auspices of the interdisciplinary cognitive science network, iCog.

 

Participants

We had a full-house, with students (blue dots) and staff (red dots) registering from across all five university faculties. It was clear from our rough-and-ready survey that not only was there were a wide-range of backgrounds amongst our participants, but also a wide-range of experience with the topic of the day’s workshop.

Ella Page

Ella greeting participants

Faculty backgrounds

Faculty backgrounds

Previous experience

Previous experience

Talks

Many thanks to our two invited speakers for their fascinating accounts of turn-taking! The common ground was apparent, despite the two very different approaches arising from human-centred or machine-centred points of view.

  • Projection of turn endings and turn extensionsDr Gareth Walker, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, University of Sheffield
  • Turn-taking in speech technology applicationsProf Thomas Hain, Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield

Our thanks too to Charles Fox who came to introduce the Sheffield Wargames Corpus, which featured in the later part of the day…

Gareth Walker

Gareth Walker

Thomas Hain

Thomas Hain

Charles Fox

Charles Fox

Hands-on data session

Following on from Charles’ talk, Emina introduced the Shefield Free Talk conversational dataset and suggested a few points for discussion. The workshop participants then gathered in small groups and spent an hour or so in conversation, uncovering varying approaches to segmentation, turn-taking cues, and potential applications of the two datasets in their particular lines of research.

Evaluation

We received some very encouraging feedback from participants at the workshop, and are pleased that the day seemed to be received so well. We are not planning a formal follow-up to the workshop itself, though we will have an end-of-project event in the spring for when our current AHRC grant expires. Workshop participants would be welcome to return at that stage to find out more about what progress we have made. In the meantime, the iCog network is also organising an autumn conference which may be of interest to some…

 

Did you learn something new?

learned something new?

was the day well spent?

was the day well spent?

Sponsors

We are very grateful for financial support from the iCog network and Think Ahead Researcher Development Team.

iCog logo.Think Ahead