Physical engagement as a way to increase emotional rapport in interactions with embodied conversational agents
One of the major goals in research on embodied conversational agents (ECAs) is to increase the believability and perceived trustworthiness of agents. To improve the efficacy of the interaction between humans and ECAs, I focus on the development of rapport, which is a complex and extensive behavioral state of affinity, synchronicity, coordination and mutual understanding that is difficult to model, measure and interpret. I present our AGENT Framework and our ECA, Adriana, which is capable of speech recognition and gesture recognition over long periods of time. Our current system provides up to 60 minutes of human-ECA interaction in a jungle-survival scenario. The benefits of rapport often fall outside of conscious awareness. In this dissertation I discuss how physical engagement can help establish a stronger sense of emotional connection between humans and virtual characters.^
Gris Sepulveda, Ivan, "Physical engagement as a way to increase emotional rapport in interactions with embodied conversational agents" (2015). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3724921.