I Probe, Therefore I Am: Designing a Virtual Journalist with Human Emotions

Kevin Bowden, Tommy Nilsson, Christine Spencer, Kübra Cengiz, Alexandru Ghitulescu, Jelte Barachia van Waterschoot

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

By utilizing different communication channels, such as verbal language, gestures or facial expressions, virtually embodied interactive humans hold a unique potential to bridge the gap between human-computer interaction and actual interhuman communication. The use of virtual humans is consequently becoming increasingly popular in a wide range of areas where such a natural communication might be beneficial, including entertainment, education, mental health research and beyond. Behind this development lies a series of technological advances in a multitude of disciplines, most notably natural language processing, computer vision, and speech synthesis. In this paper we discuss a Virtual Human Journalist, a project employing a number of novel solutions from these disciplines with the goal to demonstrate their viability by producing a humanoid conversational agent capable of naturally eliciting and reacting to information from a human user. A set of qualitative and quantitative evaluation sessions demonstrated the technical feasibility of the system whilst uncovering a number of deficits in its capacity to engage users in a way that would be perceived as natural and emotionally engaging. We argue that naturalness should not always be seen as a desirable goal and suggest that deliberately suppressing the naturalness of virtual human interactions, such as by altering its personality cues, might in some cases yield more desirable results.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of eNTERFACE'16 - The 12th Summer Workshop on Multimodal Interfaces
EditorsKhiet Truong, Dennis Reidsma
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherCentre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT)
Pages47-53
Number of pages7
Volume17
Edition02
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2017
Event12th International Summer Workshop on Multimodal Interfaces, eNTERFACE 2016 - DesignLab, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 18 Jul 201612 Aug 2016
Conference number: 12
http://hmi.ewi.utwente.nl/enterface16

Publication series

Name
ISSN (Electronic)0929-0672

Workshop

Workshop12th International Summer Workshop on Multimodal Interfaces, eNTERFACE 2016
Abbreviated titleeNTERFACE
CountryNetherlands
CityEnschede
Period18/07/1612/08/16
Internet address

Fingerprint

Speech synthesis
Communication
Human computer interaction
Computer vision
Education
Health
Processing

Keywords

  • Embodied Virtual Agents
  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • Anthropomorphic agents
  • Empathy

Cite this

Bowden, K., Nilsson, T., Spencer, C., Cengiz, K., Ghitulescu, A., & van Waterschoot, J. B. (2017). I Probe, Therefore I Am: Designing a Virtual Journalist with Human Emotions. In K. Truong, & D. Reidsma (Eds.), Proceedings of eNTERFACE'16 - The 12th Summer Workshop on Multimodal Interfaces (02 ed., Vol. 17, pp. 47-53). Enschede: Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT).
Bowden, Kevin ; Nilsson, Tommy ; Spencer, Christine ; Cengiz, Kübra ; Ghitulescu, Alexandru ; van Waterschoot, Jelte Barachia. / I Probe, Therefore I Am: Designing a Virtual Journalist with Human Emotions. Proceedings of eNTERFACE'16 - The 12th Summer Workshop on Multimodal Interfaces. editor / Khiet Truong ; Dennis Reidsma. Vol. 17 02. ed. Enschede : Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT), 2017. pp. 47-53
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Bowden, K, Nilsson, T, Spencer, C, Cengiz, K, Ghitulescu, A & van Waterschoot, JB 2017, I Probe, Therefore I Am: Designing a Virtual Journalist with Human Emotions. in K Truong & D Reidsma (eds), Proceedings of eNTERFACE'16 - The 12th Summer Workshop on Multimodal Interfaces. 02 edn, vol. 17, Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT), Enschede, pp. 47-53, 12th International Summer Workshop on Multimodal Interfaces, eNTERFACE 2016, Enschede, Netherlands, 18/07/16.

I Probe, Therefore I Am: Designing a Virtual Journalist with Human Emotions. / Bowden, Kevin; Nilsson, Tommy; Spencer, Christine; Cengiz, Kübra; Ghitulescu, Alexandru; van Waterschoot, Jelte Barachia.

Proceedings of eNTERFACE'16 - The 12th Summer Workshop on Multimodal Interfaces. ed. / Khiet Truong; Dennis Reidsma. Vol. 17 02. ed. Enschede : Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT), 2017. p. 47-53.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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AB - By utilizing different communication channels, such as verbal language, gestures or facial expressions, virtually embodied interactive humans hold a unique potential to bridge the gap between human-computer interaction and actual interhuman communication. The use of virtual humans is consequently becoming increasingly popular in a wide range of areas where such a natural communication might be beneficial, including entertainment, education, mental health research and beyond. Behind this development lies a series of technological advances in a multitude of disciplines, most notably natural language processing, computer vision, and speech synthesis. In this paper we discuss a Virtual Human Journalist, a project employing a number of novel solutions from these disciplines with the goal to demonstrate their viability by producing a humanoid conversational agent capable of naturally eliciting and reacting to information from a human user. A set of qualitative and quantitative evaluation sessions demonstrated the technical feasibility of the system whilst uncovering a number of deficits in its capacity to engage users in a way that would be perceived as natural and emotionally engaging. We argue that naturalness should not always be seen as a desirable goal and suggest that deliberately suppressing the naturalness of virtual human interactions, such as by altering its personality cues, might in some cases yield more desirable results.

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Bowden K, Nilsson T, Spencer C, Cengiz K, Ghitulescu A, van Waterschoot JB. I Probe, Therefore I Am: Designing a Virtual Journalist with Human Emotions. In Truong K, Reidsma D, editors, Proceedings of eNTERFACE'16 - The 12th Summer Workshop on Multimodal Interfaces. 02 ed. Vol. 17. Enschede: Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT). 2017. p. 47-53