Discovering eye gaze behavior during human-agent conversation in an interactive storytelling application

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Authors: Bee, N., Wagner, J., André, E., Vogt, T., Charles, F., Pizzi, D. and Cavazza, M.

Journal: International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces and the Workshop on Machine Learning for Multimodal Interaction, ICMI-MLMI 2010

ISBN: 9781450304146

DOI: 10.1145/1891903.1891915

In this paper, we investigate the user's eye gaze behavior during the conversation with an interactive storytelling application. We present an interactive eye gaze model for embodied conversational agents in order to improve the experience of users participating in Interactive Storytelling. The underlying narrative in which the approach was tested is based on a classical XIXth century psychological novel: Madame Bovary, by Flaubert. At various stages of the narrative, the user can address the main character or respond to her using free-style spoken natural language input, impersonating her lover. An eye tracker was connected to enable the interactive gaze model to respond to user's current gaze (i.e. looking into the virtual character's eyes or not). We conducted a study with 19 students where we compared our interactive eye gaze model with a non-interactive eye gaze model that was informed by studies of human gaze behaviors, but had no information on where the user was looking. The interactive model achieved a higher score for user ratings than the non-interactive model. In addition we analyzed the users' gaze behavior during the conversation with the virtual character. © 2010 ACM.

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