Jonathan Gratch: “A data-driven approach to model culture-specific communication management styles for virtual agents”

May 10, 2010 | Toronto, Ontario

Speaker: Jonathan Gratch
Host: Ninth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems

Virtual agents are a great opportunity in teaching inter-cultural competencies. Advantages, such as the repeatability of training sessions, emotional distance to virtual characters, the opportunity to over-exaggerate or generalize behavior or simply to save the costs for human training-partners support that idea. Especially the way communication is coordinated varies across cultures. In this paper, we present our approach of simulating differences in the management of communication for the American and Arabic cultures. Therefore, we give an overview of behavioral tendencies described in the literature, pointing out differences between the two cultures. Grounding our expectations in empirical data we analyzed a multi-modal corpora. These findings were integrated into a demonstrator using virtual agents and evaluated in a preliminary study.