Chapter

Intelligent Virtual Agents

Volume 5773 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 460-466

Should Agents Speak Like, um, Humans? The Use of Conversational Fillers by Virtual Agents

  • Laura M. PfeiferAffiliated withNortheastern University College of Computer and Information Science
  • , Timothy BickmoreAffiliated withNortheastern University College of Computer and Information Science

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Abstract

We describe the design and evaluation of an agent that uses the fillers um and uh in its speech. We describe an empirical study of human-human dialogue, analyzing gaze behavior during the production of fillers and use this data to develop a model of agent-based gaze behavior. We find that speakers are significantly more likely to gaze away from their dialogue partner while uttering fillers, especially if the filler occurs at the beginning of a speaking turn. This model is evaluated in a preliminary experiment. Results indicate mixed attitudes towards an agent that uses conversational fillers in its speech.

Keywords

embodied conversational agent fillers filled pause gaze