Embodied Conversational Agents are virtual agents that have
features and that display a multimodal behavior. In particular, they are
able to perceive and understand what a user is saying as well as to
converse with him or another agent using verbal and nonverbal behaviors.
They may talk, smile, nod, gestures...
Their physical appearance may greatly vary a lot: 2D vs 3D, realistic vs
cartoonish, full-body vs face-only. Moreover these agents may intervene
with the virtual environment they are placed in; they may look around,
look at objects, grab them, move them around, and so on.
These agents are getting very popular in their use as interface. The user may dialog with them to get information or to have an action performed. Endowing agents with communicative and expressive behavior often increases the impact of the ECA on the interaction. Several applications may benefit from them; several pedagogical agent have been proposed in E-learning systems; they may be used for entertainment or for telecommunication applications; many web-agents that help the user surfing the web pages of a company have been proposed.
The aim of this tutorial is to define the many aspects involved in the creation of ECAs. The tutorial will also outline the theoretical fundations behind such a creation. In particular it will detail the link between intonation and nonverbal behavior, the synchronization scheme between the verbal and nonverbal behavior, model of communicative functions, of social behavior, of gesture coordination and expressivity.
It will also present ways of representing actions and nonverbal behaviors to drive the animation of the agent. The tutorial will look at the several type of embodiement and appearance of an agent and present models and representation language that are adequate for the different types. In each of these themes implementation details will be provided. The tutorial will also describe existing tools to generate and manipulate ECA's behavior. Its aim is, thus, to provide a broad view on the ECA, pointing out and giving information on the different aspects and their corresponding problems of ECA.
9:00 - 10:00 LINGUISTIC VALUE (Doug DeCarlo - Matthew Stone) meaning / signal (theory) language of representation Ruth (tools) 10:00-10:45 COMMUNICATIVE FUNCTIONS (Catherine Pelachaud) taxonomy of communicative function language of representation (APML) Greta (tools) 10:45-11:15 Break 11:15-12:00 GAZE BEHAVIOR (Norman Badler - Catherine Pelachaud) communicative model statistical model attention model 12:00-12:30 CARTOON and CARICATURE (Kris Thorisson) Facial Animation Specification design goals 12:00-1:30 Lunch 1:30-2:30 MULTI-AGENT INTERACTION (Thomas Rist) model of social context dialog generation arena server (application) 2:30- 3:30 GESTURE EXPRESSIVITY (Norman Badler) Laban Annotation Movement Expressive gesture EMOTE (tools) 3:30-4:00 Break 4:00-5:00 GESTURE COORDINATION (Stephane Donikian) dynamic behavior perception-decision-action programming environment applications 5:00-5:45 ARCHITECTURES FOR COMMUNICATIVE HUMANOIDS (Kris Thorisson) an integrated system for developing interactive communicative humanoids 5:45-6:00 CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION
Anyone interested in embodied conversational agents, facial and body animation, gesture coordination.
This tutorial does not require any in-depth familiarity with the topics outlined above, a knowledge of 3D computer graphics and animation is sufficient.
Course Length: full-day
The tutorial material will include the slides from all speakers' talk and reprints of relevant papers and material that may have not been published in papers.