Considerate Audio MEdiating Oracle (CAMEO): Improving Human-to-Human Communications in Conference Calls

Rahul Rajan, Cliff Chen, Ted Selker

Considerate Systems Group, Fall 2011

Abstract: This paper introduces CAMEO, a behavior-driven design approach to address commonly occurring technical and social problems in audio-only teleconference calls. Many of these problems are associated with the missing visual channel and the low bandwidth for non-verbal signals. CAMEO seeks not only to sense these problems, but also to frame and respond to them in considerate ways. These include scheduling of advisory prompts, and assistive mechanisms to augment this bandwidth-constrained medium. This paper describes their implementation in CAMEO using a blackboard architecture that shapes and define its behavior. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate CAMEO on its resolution of conversational dominance in a collaborative meeting, and its utility in reducing the effects of disruptive extraneous noise on a conference call. We show that variance in conversational dominance can significantly be reduced with proactive aural feed- back. Our experiments further reveal that such feedback can also reduce the impact of extraneous noise on conversations.