Poster Presentation: Smart Mobile Virtual Humans: Chat with Me!

August 26, 2015 | Delft, Netherlands

Speaker: Anton Leuski, Ari Shapiro
Host: Fifteenth International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2015)

In this study, we are interested in exploring whether people would talk with 3D
animated virtual humans using a smartphone for a longer amount of time as a
sign of feeling rapport, compared to non-animated or audio-only characters
in everyday life. Based on previous studies users prefer animated characters in emotionally engaged interactions when the characters were displayed
on mobile devices, yet in a lab setting. We aimed to reach a broad range of users
outside of the lab in natural settings to investigate the potential of our virtual
human on smartphones to facilitate casual, yet emotionally engaging conversation. We also found that the literature has not reached a consensus regarding the
ideal gaze patterns for a virtual human, one thing researchers agree on is that
inappropriate gaze could negatively impact conversations at times, even worse
than receiving no visual feedback at all. Everyday life may bring the experience of awkwardness or uncomfortable sentiments in reaction to continuous
mutual gaze. On the other hand, gaze aversion could also make a speaker think
their partner is not listening. Our work further aims to address this question of
what constitutes appropriate eye gaze in emotionally engaged interactions.