Interactive voice response, or IVR, applications are typically commissioned and deployed with the intent of positively solving an existing issue or facilitating further communication abilities via technology. Most, if not all IVR systems are developed with the hopes of enabling additional and alternative communication channels for end users seeking to interact with technology in a constructive manner.
While IVR applications are productively integrated into business environments, incorporating backend databases and streamlining incoming and outgoing data collection processes, there are other more personalized uses for the technology as well.
Specifically in the field of healthcare, there’s a host of ways interactive voice response technology can benefit individual users. From smoking cessation programs where users place calls to both give and receive data and information regarding their progress and challenges, to subjects who suffer from chronic pain who want to keep a thorough record of their experience and progress, IVR systems can assist individuals in their personal lives with efforts to monitor and maintain their personal health.
A study published in the Communication Disorders Quarterly set out to assess children’s home language environments using ASR (automatic speech recognition) technology. Researchers Hart and Risley conducted a research study in the 1970s and 80s with the end goal of “improving the language, academic, and social achievements of urban children living in poverty.”
They conducted the research via monthly audio recordings collected from children’s homes. One hour of audio was recorded and observed each month, starting from when the children were 10 months until they were 36 months.
Their findings show that a child’s home language environment (specifically pertaining to the number of words that are addressed to them by adults) greatly effect how a child learns and retains spoken vocabulary, in addition to other language indicators like vocalizations and conversational turns.
Thirty years later, researchers from the Hammill Institute of Disabilities attempted to expand on the study’s findings in the hopes of understanding exactly how a child’s language environment affect their language development and efficiency.
How did they do this? Instead of sampling one hour per month, they sampled twelve hours a day, one to three times per week. They also explored gender differences in the adult vocalization heard by children and compared home language patterns to the commonly recognized measures of child development and language.
So what exactly did they find? Stay tuned for No More Baby Talk…