On June 26, in the context of the 7th International Workshop on the Reliability of Intelligent Environments (WoRIE 2018) in Rome, Fabio Ballati presented his work "Hey Siri, do you understand me?" Virtual assistants and dysarthria in the poster session.

Voice-activated devices are becoming common place: people can use their voice to control smartphones, smart vacuum robots, and interact with their smart homes through virtual assistant devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home.

The spread of such voice-controlled devices is possible thanks to the increasing capabilities of natural language processing, and generally have a positive impact on the device accessibility, e.g., for people with disabilities. However, a consequence of these devices embracing voice control is that people with dysarthria or other speech impairments may be unable to control their intelligent environments, at least with proficiency.

This paper investigates to which extent people with dysarthria can use and be understood by the three most common virtual assistants, namely Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. Starting from the sentences in the TORGO database of dysarthric articulation, the differences between such assistants are investigated and discussed. Preliminary results show that the three virtual assistants have comparable performance, with an accuracy of the recognition in the range of 50-60%.

"User Expectations in Intelligent Environments". this was the topic addressed by Fulvio Corno in his keynote speech opening the 7th International Workshop on the Reliability of Intelligent Environments (WoRIE 2018), exploring Issues and Opportunities in the Interaction of Intelligent Users and Intelligent Environments.

The talk analyze the differences between the expectations that end-users have from Intelligent Environments (that are well capture by the IE manifestos and seminal papers), comparing them with the actual content of the research papers published in the international journals of this research community.

IEEE COMPSAC 2018 in Tokyo, Japan

The e-Lite research group will partecipate at the 42th IEEE International Conference on Computers, Software, and Applications (COMPSAC 2018), to be held in Tokyo (Japan), from the 23th to the 27th of July 2018. The conference, organized by the IEEE Computer Society, focuses on different aspects of computer science and engineering and it is organized in 10 symposia, ranging from Computing Education to Software Engineering, to Computer Architecture and Data Science.

IE '18 conference logo

The e-Lite research group will partecipate at the 14th International Conference on Intelligent Environments (IE '18), to be held in Rome, from the 25th to the 28th of June 2018. The conference focuses on Intelligent Environments (IEs), physical spaces into which IT and other pervasive computing technology are woven and used to achieve specific goals for the user, the environment or both. IEs have the ultimate objective of enriching user experience, better manage, and increase user awareness of, that environment.

Fulvio Corno, Fabio Ballati e Alberto Monge Roffarello will present different contributions, ranging from keynotes to papers, on different topics.

On May 30, 2018, Juan Pablo Sáenz presented the paper Easing IoT Development for Novice Programmers Through Code Recipes at the audience of the 40th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2018), held in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Top area of the paper

The latest number of the IEEE IT Professional magazine (May/June 2018) features an invited paper on "Recognizing Student Research through Symposia and Competitions" for its Student Forum colum. The article proposes a reflection upon the role and attendance of students at scientific conferences, especially in computer science and engineering. In fact, most major computer science and engineering conferences have low paper-acceptance rates also to maintain high-quality presentations and results, and dedicated funds for student attendance are often limited. However, student participation in conferences is important as they are the next generation of researchers. To overcome this issue, more conferences are organizing student-related activities, such as student research symposia and competitions.