Sabarish V. Babu: “Inter-Personal Social Conversation in Multimodal Human-Virtual Human Interaction”

May 21, 2007 | USC ICT

Speaker: Sabarish V. Babu

My primary area of research lies in understanding the impact of social conversational behaviors in human-virtual human interaction. Specifically, the goal of my work is to investigate what social or conversational tasks are best suited for a virtual human interface agent, and how these capabilities affect human factors such as engagement, satisfaction, acceptance of the interface agent’s role, and the success of task performance in an interactive public setting. To this end, I present the Virtual Human Interface Framework (VHIF) implemented for the purpose of studying human-virtual human interaction. I also present Marve, a virtual receptionist, created as a proof-of-concept application built using VHIF. Using Marve, I studied the impact of the agent’s social conversational capabilities on users’ perceptions and treatment of the virtual human interface agent deployed in a public or social setting. I showed that the virtual human interface agent was able to engage users in context independent social conversational dialogue a significant amount of time. Using VHIF I also developed the multi-agent immersive virtual human social conversational protocol training system. In a controlled study, I demonstrated that users can be trained in verbal and non-verbal social conversational protocols using natural multi-modal interaction with life-size virtual human interface agents.