How Do You Like Me In This: User Embodiment Preferences for Companion Agents

TitleHow Do You Like Me In This: User Embodiment Preferences for Companion Agents
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMárquez Segura E, Kriegel M, Aylett R, Deshmukh A, Cramer H
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Conference Name12th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, IVA 2012
Date Published09/2012
Conference LocationSanta Cruz, CA, USA
Keywordsappearance, embodiment, lirec, user preferences
AbstractWe investigate the relationship between the embodiment of an artifi-cial companion and user perception and interaction with it. In a Wizard of Oz study, 42 users interacted with one of two embodiments: a physical robot or a virtual agent on a screen through a role-play of secretarial tasks in an office, with the companion providing essential assistance. Findings showed that par-ticipants in both condition groups when given the choice would prefer to inter-act with the robot companion, mainly for its greater physical or social presence. Subjects also found the robot less annoying and talked to it more naturally. However, this preference for the robotic embodiment is not reflected in the us-ers’ actual rating of the companion or their interaction with it. We reflect on this contradiction and conclude that in a task-based context a user focuses much more on a companion’s behaviour than its embodiment. This underlines the fea-sibility of our efforts in creating companions that migrate between embodi-ments while maintaining a consistent identity from the user’s point of view.
Posted by michael.kriegel on Friday, 13 July, 2012 /