Ethnic Identity and Engagement in Embodied Conversational Agents
In this paper we present the design, development and initial evaluation of a virtual peer that models ethnicity through culturally authentic verbal and non-verbal behaviors. The behaviors chosen for the implementation come from an ethnographic study with African-American and Caucasian children and the evaluation of the virtual peer consists of a study in which children interacted with an African American or a Caucasian virtual peer and then assessed its ethnicity. Results suggest that it may be possible to tip the ethnicity of a embodied conversational agent by changing verbal and non-verbal behaviors instead of surface attributes, and that children engage with those virtual peers in ways that have promise for educational applications.
KeywordsVirtual Peers Embodied Conversational Agents Culture Ethnicity
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