Ethnic Identity and Engagement in Embodied Conversational Agents

  • Francisco Iacobelli
  • Justine Cassell
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4722)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Virtual Peers Embodied Conversational Agents Culture Ethnicity 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. [1]
    Baylor, A., Kim, Y.: The Role of Gender and Ethnicity in Pedagogical Agent Perception. In: Proceedings of ELearn World Conference on ELearning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education, Phoenix, AZ (2003)Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Bigler, R.S., Liben, L.S.: A Cognitive-Developmental Approach to Racial Stereotyping and Reconstructive Memory in Euro-American Children. Child development 64, 1507 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Cassell, J.: Towards a Model of Technology and Literacy Development: Story Listening Systems. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 25, 75–105 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Cassell, J., Ryokai, K.: Making Space for Voice: Technologies to Support Children’s Fantasy and Storytelling. Personal Technologies 5, 203–224 (2001)Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Cassell, J., Tartaro, A., Oza, V., Rankin, Y., Tse, C.: Virtual Peers for Literacy Learning. Educational Technology, Special Issue on Pedagogical Agents XLVII, 39–43 (2007)Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Craig, H.K., Washington, J.A.: Malik goes to school: Examining the language skills of African American students from preschool-5th grade. Lawrence Erlbaum, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Eckert, P.: Variations, conventions and social meanings. In: Proceedings of Linguistic Society of America, Oakland, CA (2005)Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Gould, S.J.: The mismeasure of man, 1st edn. Norton, New York (1981)Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Hayes-Roth, B., Maldonado, H., Moraes, M.: Designing for diversity: Multi-cultural characters for a multi-cultural world. In: Proceedings of IMAGINA 2002, Monte Carlo, Monaco (2002)Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Maldonado, H., Hayes-Roth, B.: Toward Cross-Cultural Believability in Character Design. In: Payr, S., Trappl, R. (eds.) Agent Culture: Human-Agent Interaction in a Multicultural World, pp. 143–176. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New Jersey (2004)Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    Nass, C., Isbister, K., Lee, E.-J.: Truth is Beauty: Researching Embodied Conversational Agents. In: Cassell, J., Sullivan, J., Prevost, S., Churchill, E. (eds.) Embodied Conversational Agents, pp. 374–402. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (2000)Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Wang, A., Cassell, J.: Co-authoring, Corroborating, Criticizing:Collaborative Storytelling for Literacy Learning. In: Payr, S., Trappl, R. (eds.) Vienna Workshop 2003: Educational Agents - More than Virtual Tutors, Vienna, Austria (2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco Iacobelli
    • 1
  • Justine Cassell
    • 1
  1. 1.Northwestern University, Frances Searle Building 2-343. 2240 Campus Drive. Evanston, 60208-2952 

Personalised recommendations