Lixing Huang, Louis-Philippe Morency, Jonathan Gratch: “Virtual Rapport 2.0”

September 15, 2011 | Reykjavik, Iceland

Speaker: Lixing Huang, Louis-Philippe Morency, Jonathan Gratch
Host: 11th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2011)

Rapport, the feeling of being “in sync” with your conversational partners, is argued to underlie many desirable social effects. By generating proper verbal and nonverbal behaviors, virtual humans have been seen to create rapport during interactions with human users. In this paper, we introduce our approach to creating rapport following Tickle-Degnen and Rosenberg’s three-factor (positivity, mutual attention and coordination) theory of rapport. By comparing with a previously published virtual agent, the Rapport Agent, we show that our virtual human predicts the timing of backchannel feedback and end-of-turn more precisely, performs more natural behaviors and, thereby creates much stronger feelings of rapport between users and virtual agents.