What Kind of Stories Should a Virtual Human Swap?

May 10, 2016 | Singapore, Singapore

Speaker: Setareh Nasihati Gilani
Host: 15th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS2016)

Stories are pervasive in conversation between people [5]. They are used to establish identity pass on cultural heritage, and build rapport. Often stories are swapped when one conversational participant will reply to a story with a story. Stories are also told by virtual humans [1, 6, 2]. In creating or mining stories for a virtual human (VH) to tell, there are a number of considerations that come up about what kinds of stories should be told, and how the stories should be related to the virtual human’s identity, such as whether the identity should be human or artificial, and whether the stories should be about the virtual human or about someone else. We designed a set of virtual human characters who can engage in a simple form of story-swapping. Each of the characters can engage in simple interactions such as greetings and closings and can respond to a set of “ice-breaker” questions, that might be used on a first date or similar “get to know you” encounter. For these questions the character’s answer includes a story. We created 4 character response sets, to have all combinations of identity (human or artificial) and perspective (first person stories about the narrator, or third person stories about someone else). We also designed an experiment to try to explore the collective impact of above principles on people who interact with the characters. Participants interact with two of the above characters in a “get to know you” scenario. We investigate the degree of reciprocity where people respond to the character with their own stories, and also compare rapport of participants with the characters as well as the impressions of the character’s personality.