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The "Etiquette Quotient"; Evaluating Social Skills in Conversational Avatars

Award Information

Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch:
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
68783
Program Year/Program:
2004 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
04SB1-0155
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
Smart Information Flow Technologies, d/b
211 N 1st St. Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN -
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: The "Etiquette Quotient"; Evaluating Social Skills in Conversational Avatars
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: W31P4Q-04-C-R221
Award Amount: $98,698.00
 

Abstract:

Making avatars react appropriately in social interaction--to take offense when reasonable, to give deference where appropriate, etc.-- is a more fundamental need for believability and cost-effectiveness than is accuracy in appearance, especially for military applications such as cross-cultural training. We propose using a rich, universal theory of human-human "politeness" behaviors and the culture-specific interpretive frameworks for them (labeled "etiquette") from sociology, linguistics and anthropology to create a computational model of social behavior expectations. This model will link observable and inferred aspects of power and familiarity relationships, the degree of imposition of an act (all of which have implications for roles and intents) and the actor's character to produce politeness behaviors expectations. By using observations of politeness behaviors (or its lack), the same model permits inferences and updates about those attributes. In Phase I, we will refine and implement this model to provide a computational believability metric based on the delta between observed and expected politeness behaviors--an "Etiquette Quotient" (EQ)--of an actor in context. We will also validate and tune this measure in an experiment using avatars. In Phase II, we will expand this model with cross-cultural etiquette libraries and use it dynamically adapt avatars' social behavior.

Principal Investigator:

Christopher Miller
Chief Scientist
6127164015
cmiller@sift.info

Business Contact:

Harry B. Funk
Vice President, R&D
6125787438
hfunk@sift.info
Small Business Information at Submission:

SMART INFORMATION FLOW TECHNOLOGIES, D/B/A SIFT
1272 Raymond Ave St. Paul, MN 55108

EIN/Tax ID: 411929753
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No