Monica Landoni, Davide Matteri, Emiliana Murgia, Theo Huibers, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2019. “Sonny, Cerca! evaluating the impact of using a vocal assistant to search at school”. In International Conference of the Cross-Language Evaluation Forum for European Languages (CLEF 2019).
Children struggle with translating their information needs into effective queries to initiate the search process. In this paper, we explore the degree to which the use of a Vocal Assistant (VA) as an intermediary between a child and a search engine can ease query formulation and foster completion of successful searches. We also examine the potential influence VA can have on the search process when compared to a traditional keyboard-driven approach. This comparison motivates the second contribution of our work, an evaluation framework that covers 4 dimensions: (1) a new search strategy (VA) for (2) a specific user group (children) given (3) a particular task (answering questions) in (4) a defined environment (school). The proposed framework can be adopted by the research community to conduct comprehensive assessments of search systems given new interaction methods, user groups, contexts, and tasks.