The More the Merrier: Multi-Party Negotiation with Virtual Humans

Patrick Kenny, Arno Hartholt, Jonathan Gratch, David Traum, Stacy Marsella, Bill Swartout

The goal of the Virtual Humans Project at the University of Southern California′s Institute for Creative Technologies is to enrich virtual training environments with virtual humans – autonomous agents that support face–to–face interaction with trainees in a variety of roles – through bringing together many different areas of research including speech recognition, natural language understanding, dialogue management, cognitive modeling, emotion modeling, non–verbal behavior and speech and knowledge management. The demo at AAAI will focus on our work using virtual humans to train negotiation skills. Conference attendees will negotiate with a virtual human doctor and elder to try to move a clinic out of harm′s way in single and multi–party negotiation scenarios using the latest iteration of our Virtual Humans framework. The user will use natural speech to talk to the embodied agents, who will respond in accordance with their internal task model and state. The characters will carry out a multi–party dialogue with verbal and non–verbal behavior. A video of a single–party version of the scenario was shown at AAAI–06. This new interactive demo introduces several new features, including multi–party negotiation, dynamically generated non–verbal behavior and a central ontology.

Subjects: 6.1 Life-Like Characters; 1.6 Engineering And Science

Submitted: Apr 24, 2007

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