How Do You Like Me in This: User Embodiment Preferences for Companion Agents

Segura, E. M., Kriegel, M., Aylett, R., Deshmukh, A. and Cramer, H. (2012) How Do You Like Me in This: User Embodiment Preferences for Companion Agents. In: 12th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2012), Santa Cruz, CA, USA, 12-14 Sept 2012, pp. 112-125. (doi:10.1007/978-3-642-33197-8_12)

161207.pdf - Accepted Version



We investigate the relationship between the embodiment of an artificial companion and user perception and interaction with it. In a Wizard of Oz study, 42 users interacted with one of two embodiments: a physical robot or a virtual agent on a screen through a role-play of secretarial tasks in an office, with the companion providing essential assistance. Findings showed that participants in both condition groups when given the choice would prefer to interact with the robot companion, mainly for its greater physical or social presence. Subjects also found the robot less annoying and talked to it more naturally. However, this preference for the robotic embodiment is not reflected in the users’ actual rating of the companion or their interaction with it. We reflect on this contradiction and conclude that in a task-based context a user focuses much more on a companion’s behaviour than its embodiment. This underlines the feasibility of our efforts in creating companions that migrate between embodiments while maintaining a consistent identity from the user’s point of view.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Deshmukh, Dr Amol
Authors: Segura, E. M., Kriegel, M., Aylett, R., Deshmukh, A., and Cramer, H.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
First Published:First published in Lecture Notes in Computer Science 7502:112-125
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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