An affective personality for an embodied conversational agent
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Curtin Universitys Embodied Conversational Agents (ECA) combine an MPEG-4 compliant Facial Animation Engine (FAE), a Text To Emotional Speech Synthesiser (TTES), and a multi-modal Dialogue Manager (DM), that accesses a Knowledge Base (KB) and outputs Virtual Human Markup Language (VHML) text which drives the TTES and FAE. A user enters a question and an animated ECA responds with a believable and affective voice and actions. However, this response to the user is normally marked up in VHML by the KB developer to produce the required facial gestures and emotional display. A real person does not react by fixed rules but on personality, beliefs, previous experiences, and training. This thesis details the design, implementation and pilot study evaluation of an Affective Personality Model for an ECA. The thesis discusses the Email Agent system that informs a user when they have email. The system, built in Curtins ECA environment, has personality traits of Friendliness, Extraversion and Neuroticism. A small group of participants evaluated the Email Agent system to determine the effectiveness of the implemented personality system. An analysis of the qualitative and quantitative results from questionnaires is presented.
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