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Stefan Kopp <[log in to unmask]>
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Stefan Kopp <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 25 Jan 2005 16:02:01 +0100
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** Workshop Announcement and Call for Papers **


In conjunction with AAMAS 2005

Humanoids (virtual such as Embodied Conversational Agents, ECAs in
short, or human-like robots) are a powerful means of interaction between
humans and machines. They allow the user to converse with his usual
means of communication, namely, words and gestures. Nowadays, humanoid
agents are being employed to provide information, explain pedagogical
material, or sell products. But they promise even more; they can be the
individualized, privileged companion of a user; they can be assisting
and entertaining, and they can be emotive. By the simple fact of their
human-like appearance and behavior, users tend to build up relationships
with ECAs and human-like robots, just as they do with human folks. In
order that the user perceives and accepts the ECA as a companion, the
ECA too should maintain such a relationship. Tying and maintaining these
bonds is highly related to the engagement between interactants. But
engagement does not mean pervasiveness. Humanoids should not invade the
userís working space, nor should they intervene at any time. Rather,
they ought to gain the capability to determine when to intervene and for
which reason. This workshop is particularly interested in this topic:
how humanoids can create and maintain social and affective relationships
with the user. Such agents ought to be enhanced with capabilities of:
- perceiving userís engagement
- soliciting userís engagement
- maintaining userís engagement
- knowing when and how to interact
Over and above, such agents need to be able to interact emotionally with
userís emotion. Thus they should:
- display recognizable emotional behaviors
- perceive userís emotion
- react according to userís emotion

The topic of this workshop is on the bonds that humans and humanoids
(virtual or not) may create with each other when interacting. More
specifically, it lies on techniques and models allowing an agent to
build a long lasting relation with the user. This is not restricted to
models of complex concepts such as personality, culture, social role and
the like, which are of course primordial elements intervening in
building relationships. For example, Nass and colleagues have shown that
users prefer interacting with agents that look like themselves,
personality-wise and culturally-wise. In this workshop, we are not only
interested in such aspects per se, but more in the way operational models
can be developed and practically used for humanoid agents. Thus, we aim
to look at the relationship between human and humanoid itself: how is it
build, how can its evolution in time be detected, how can it be maintained?
To build an ECA or a human-like robot that would be our companion in
future interfaces, these fundamental questions must be resolved, calling
for our understanding of
- the different kinds of relationships (e.g. short-time vs. long-term,
social, emotional, etc.) possible between humans and humanoids
- the factors influencing their establishment, maintaining, and breakup
- the technical models/methods required to recognize, solicit, maintain,
and process them
- the methods with which they can be evaluated
- the benefits and risks of "bonding" humanoids

The purpose of this full-day workshop is to bring together researchers
and developers of embodied conversational characters to exchange ideas
and experiences on these topics. In particular, we are interested in the
various aspects involved in the creation of bonds with humanoids, such as
- verbal communication and speech (voice, intonation)
- nonverbal communication
- personality and emotion
- graphics look and animation
- dialogue capabilities
- social interaction with other agents
Particular issues to be addressed (but not limited to) are:
∑ models of agentís attention
∑ models of detecting userís engagement
∑ models of soliciting and maintaining userís engagement
∑ perception models of emotion
∑ simulation models of emotion
∑ models of back-channeling
∑ evaluation studies, e.g. on measurement of user engagement

Contributions from related fields like cognitive science and psychology
(e.g., on guidelines for models of relationships) are welcome.

Submissions should be of 8 pages maximum, following AAMAS specified style.
They should be made electronically (in PDF format) to:
[log in to unmask]
All submissions will be reviewed by three or more PC members. The PC
committee will also decide on the way of presentation of contributions.

March 14, 2005 Deadline for submitting of contributions to the workshop
April 18, 2005 Notification of acceptance
July 25-26, 2005 AAMAS-05 Workshops

Catherine Pelachaud, LINC Ė Paragraphe, IUT de Montreuil - University of
Paris 8, France
[log in to unmask]  (*primary contact*)
Elisabeth Andrť, University of Ausburg, Germany
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Stefan Kopp, University of Bielefeld, Germany
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Zsůfia Ruttkay, University of Twente, The Netherlands
[log in to unmask]

Elisabeth Andrť, DE
Norman Badler, USA
Tim Bickmore, USA
Kerstin Dautenhahn, GB
Arjan Egges, CH
Dirk Heylen, NL
Nicole Kraemer, DE
Stefan Kopp, DE
Ana Paiva, PT
Catherine Pelachaud, FR
Christopher Peters, FR
Helmut Prendinger, JP
Zsofia Ruttkay, NL
Candace Sidner, USA
Kris Thůrisson, Iceland