Table of Contents

1 Short Description


Validating that non human animals can communicate with humans using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) requires extensive logging, and traditional techniques are costly in resources and time.

We propose to implement

  1. a configurable ``communication board'' application aimed at small non human animals able to use touch interfaces, which not only emits human words associated to each button, but also logs such interactions;
  2. a hardware keyboard to extend the use of such an application to larger non human animals unable to use a touch screen, but able to use large keys and
  3. a centralized back-end gathering the logs from various devices, facilitating their study by researchers.

We propose to validate the usability of such prototype solutions with two monk parakeets parrots for the application, a dog and two cats for the keyboard (and application), and a researcher in comparative psychology for the website of the back-end.

2 Prototypes

3 Publications

  1. InCA-ComBoard : A Loggable Aid to Speech: A Research Proposal
    1. Authors
    2. Links
    3. Bibtex
      \providecommand{\acronym}[1]{ (\textbf{#1})}
      @string { aciwp = "Proceedings of the Conference Animal Computer Interaction, Work in Progress Track\acronym{ACIWP}"}
          author = {\correspondingAuthor{J{\'e}r{\'e}my Barbay} and \student{Camila Labarca-Rosenbluth} and \student{Brandon Pe{\~n}a-Haipas}},
          title = {A Loggable Aid to Speech (for Human and Non Human Animals): A Research Proposal},
          pages = {1-7},
          booktitle = aciwp,
          publisher = {ACM Digital Library},
          address = {Association for Computing Machinery 1601 Broadway, 10th Floor New York, NY},
          year = {2022}}
    4. OUTLINE
      Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) solutions allowing non human animals to communicate in human words by pressing buttons associated to recorded voice have undergone an explosive growth since 2018. Any scientific validation of such communication abilities will require extensive logging of the interactions, which is usually performed by constantly recording the subjects on video, having the guardians reporting and tagging each communication interactions, and researchers analyzing the context before and after the interaction.
      Such extensive logging is costly, and its analysis tedious, which limits the amount of data being gathered.
      Could a dedicated application give a similar experience, but with the added advantage of generating automatcially an extensive log of usages, which researchers and educators could study in order to validate and improve the methodology, for the subject in particular and in general?
      We propose to design, implement and validate 1) a hardware keyboard to be used by medium non human animals such as dogs and cats to interact with electronic devices; 2) a configurable ``communication board'' application which not only emits human words associated to each button, but also logs such interactions, and allows a guardian to annotate the recent interactions for future analysis; and 3) a centralized back-end gathering the annotated logs from various devices, facilitating their study by researchers.
      We propose to validate the usability of such solutions with medium-sized and small-sized non human animals one one hand, and with comparative psychology researchers on the other hand.

4 This is still a Work in Progress!


Author: Jérémy Barbay

Created: 2023-01-20 Fri 17:49

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