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New Grant from the Office Ergonomics Research Committee

Prof. Natalie Parde is co-Principal Investigator, with Profs. Heejin Jeong (PI) and Myunghee Kim (co-PI) of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department at UIC, on a new grant awarded by the Office Ergonomics Research Committee (OERC) entitled "Effects of an Intelligent Virtual Assistant in a Noisy Environment on Office Workers' Physical and Cognitive Loads," which will run from January 2021 to December 2021. From the abstract:

"Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) are verbal command-based software agents designed to help human operators to perform tasks or services. The IVA is more than just an interface to a simple voice menu; rather, its benefits stem from its ability to effectively interpret unstructured natural language input. However, some drawbacks of IVAs exist as well. One major drawback is that IVAs still confront challenges such as understanding/registering the operator’s query, especially in a loud environment. The goal of this project is to explore the office worker’s workload and performance while using an IVA, especially in a noisy environment."