Service Design of Artificial Intelligence Voice Agents as a Guideline for Assisting Independent Toilet Training of Preschool Children

Jiwon Huh, Soyoung Ann, Jeeyeon Hong, Mingzhu Cui, Ji Yeon Park, Yoonseo Kim, Bomin Sim, Hyun Kyung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Infants aged 3 to 5 interact with their surroundings and face developmental challenges in many ways. Therefore, it is necessary to review the services provided not only from the perspective of adults such as parents and teachers but also from the perspective of preschool children as the main users of the services. This study explores the difficulties experienced by infants in childcare and educational institutions such as daycare centers and kindergartens, and aims to solve them from a multidisciplinary perspective. Methods This study consists of three steps: defining the problem, designing the prototype as a solution to the problem, and the experiment as a step to verify the effectiveness of the prototype. Results This study provides the implication that education and childcare centers can solve situations of existing problematic preschool children's experience with a toilet by installing a guideline applying an AI voice agent. It was found that the participants' fear and embarrassment when using the toilet alone was significantly reduced. Thus, guidelines with AI voice agents might allow the effect of helping preschoolers to have a positive perception of the toilet, not as an embarrassing and intimidating space. Conclusions We identify the cause of difficulty in training preschool children to use the toilet and we seek practical solutions by applying a ‘multi-disciplinary perspective’. In addition, we create a prototype in the form of ‘AI voice agents’ and verify its effectiveness through experiments. It is expected that our findings will be a practical solution to the problem of toilet training in education and childcare centers and homes. Moreover, as the introduction of the agent is expanded, it is hoped that the toilet, which is used to be a ‘dead spot for childcare,’ will serve as an opportunity to transform it into a ‘smart childcare space.’

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
JournalArchives of Design Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Institute of Information & Communications Technology Planning & Evaluation (IITP) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (No. 2021-0-00155, Context and Activity Analysis-based Solution for Safe Childcare).

Publisher Copyright:
© This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted educational and non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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