University of Twente Student Theses


Nonverbal behaviour of an embodied storyteller

Jonkman, F. (2012) Nonverbal behaviour of an embodied storyteller.

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Abstract:A system that is visualized as a person and has some communicative capabilities is often called an Embodied Conversational Agent. Some of these Embodied Conversational Agents show a limitation in their available gaze behaviours towards the user. Take for example agents that are positioned directly in front of the user. Most of them are limited to a look-at the interlocutor and look-away from the interlocutor state as their available gaze behaviours. The question arises if and how these behaviours of the Embodied Conversational Agents can be improved and be extended with other gaze behaviours? Will the introduction of other gaze states improve the viewing experience? In this master thesis two viewing perspectives and the accompanying gaze behaviours are researched and the question is asked whether there is a preference for one of the two viewing perspectives. The first perspective is the newsreader perspective, often found in existing research aimed at analyzing the verbal and non-behaviours of an Embodied Conversational Agents. The newsreader perspective is a viewing perspective in which the embodied agent is located directly in front of the camera. The second viewing perspective is the storyteller perspective, seen in TV-series like Sesame Street and the Dutch TV-series “Elly en de wiebelwagen”. The viewing perspective introduces an audience located directly in front of the storyteller with a sideways camera placement. Subsequently gaze-behaviours are introduced as the main non-verbal behaviours of the embodied storyteller. By analyzing existing gaze models and annotating an actual storyteller a gaze model is defined for the embodied storyteller. The gaze model and the viewing perspectives were implemented in the verbal and non-verbal behaviour realizer Elckerlyc [WR10]. The gaze behaviours and the viewing perspectives are evaluated, by means of a short user-survey. The results of the survey show a slight preference for the storyteller perspective and none of the gaze behaviours are valued as purely negative. However the most important thing the user-survey shows is the large variance in participant’s opinions about suitable gaze behaviours and preference for one of the two viewing perspectives. The question arises if there is such a thing as an “perfect” viewing experience with suitable non-verbal behaviours from a viewing perspective, that meets the expectations and preferences of most users.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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