Designing for friendship: Becoming friends with your ECA


Stronks, Bas and Nijholt, Anton and Vet, Paul van der and Heylen, Dirk (2002) Designing for friendship: Becoming friends with your ECA. In: Workshop Embodied Conversational Agents - Let's specify and evaluate them!, AMAAS 2002, 15 July 2002, Bologna, Italy (pp. pp. 91-96).

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Abstract:This paper is about the design of Embodied Conversational Agents (ECAs). In this field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the design of ECAs, or ‘virtual humans’, and the communication between those agents and human users is the main object of our research. A lot of effort is put into research to make ECAs more lifelike and believable and to make communication with ECAs more effective, efficient, and more fun. In order to do so, the idea was to make the agent more actively concerned with the relationship with the user. As a ‘lay psychologist’, we all know that people that you like (or your friends) are able to help you better, teach you better, and generally are more fun to interact with, than people that you don’t like. However, ’liking’ is person dependent. Not everybody likes the same person, and one person is not liked by everyone. These observations sparked our interest in the application, effects, and design of a ‘virtual friend’. An agent that observes it’s user, and adapts it’s personality, appearance and behavior according to the (implicit) likes and dislikes of the user, in order to ‘become friends’ with the user and create an affective interpersonal relationship. This agent might have additional benefits over a ‘normal’ Embodied Conversational Agent in areas such as computer assisted teaching and entertainment.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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