Quality and Usability

Human Perception and Automatic Detection of Speaker Personality and Likability – Influence of Modern Telecommunication Channels

When listening to unknown voices, humans tend to make spontaneous inferences about the perceived personality and voice likability of their interlocutors. The voices heard are generally transmitted through communication channels, e.g. in telephone-based speech applications. However, the study of transmission channel effects has not yet been addressed in previous investigations of human and automatic detection of personality traits and likability. Besides, regarding the automatic prediction of these speaker characteristics, the binary classification task has principally been tackled despite the continuous nature of the perceptive ratings. This project examines the influence of transmission channels of different settings, such as bandwidth, codec and user interface, on speaker personality and likability detection by humans and machines. Conversational speech data in German, needed for the proposed analyses, are recorded. On the human side, crowdsourcing can be employed to rapidly and reliably gather listeners’ assessments from large transmitted speech material. On the automatic side, regression models are considered for personality and likability prediction, employing state-of-the-art techniques such as deep neural networks. The validity of speech quality measures as predictors of these speaker characteristics are also studied. The outcomes will elucidate which transmission channels can preserve the voice properties that determine the perceived personality and likability, and how these can be automatically predicted. This can be used in applications based on telephone speech which aim at estimating perceived speaker characteristics and at foreseeing subsequent user behavior.


Research questions:

1. Effects of transmission channels on human personality and likability perceptions: How do different transmission channel impairments influence the speaker personality perceived by a listener? And how do they alter the voice likability perceptions? 

2. Effects of transmission channels on automatic systems: How do different transmission channel impairments affect the automatic prediction of speaker personality? And how do they modify the automatic prediction of voice likability? 

3. Relations between transmitted speech quality and speaker personality and likability: Do subjective and instrumental speech quality measures correlate with perceived personality traits? And with the perceived likability? Can speech quality measures assist the prediction of perceived personality and likability?


Time Frame: 02/2016 - 06/2018  

T-labs Team Members: Laura Fernández Gallardo 

Students: Amelie Piepenbring 

Funding by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)