Can speech be used for alarm displays in ‘process control’ type tasks?

C. Baber, N. A. Stanton, A. Stockley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


There has been much research into the feasibility of speech in aircraft cockpits, but little in human supervisory control tasks. Speech displays can provide a number of benefits over conventional, visual displays, particularly as a means of providing alarm information. We discuss the term ‘alarm’, and suggest that different alarm situations will have different information requirements. Thus, a single type of alarm display may not be suitable for the complete range of situations encountered in the control room. We investigated the use of speech for different ‘alarm-initiated actions’: recording, urgency rating, location identification, and action specification. These tasks varied in terms of difficulty, and this affected performance. We also varied the quality of speech, comparing synthesized with human speech. While speech quality affected performance on the recording task, we found that task difficulty interacted with speech quality on the other tasks. This means that definable ‘trade-offs’ exist between the use of speech and the situation in which it is to be used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-226
Number of pages11
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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