Breaking the Ice in Human-Agent Communication: Eye-Gaze Based Initiation of Contact with an Embodied Conversational Agent

Nikolaus Bee, Elisabeth André and Susanne Tober

erschienen 2009 "Intelligent Virtual Agents", "Lecture Notes in Computer Science", Volume 5773, Pages 229 - 242

Verlag: Springer



In human-human conversation, the first impression decides whether two people feel attracted by each other and whether contact between them will be continued or not. Starting from psychological work on flirting, we implemented an eye-gaze based model of interaction to investigate whether flirting tactics help improve first encounters between a human and an agent. Unlike earlier work, we concentrate on a very early phase of human-agent conversation (the initiation of contact) and investigate which non-verbal signals an agent should convey in order to create a favourable atmosphere for subsequent interactions and increase the user’s willingness to engage in an interaction with the agent. To validate our approach, we created a scenario with a realistic 3D agent called Alfred that seeks contact with a human user. Depending on whether the user signals interest in the agent by means of his or her gaze, the agent will finally engage in a conversation or not.