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

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Amount:
$98,698.00
Award Year:
2004
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
W31P4Q-04-C-R221
Agency Tracking Number:
04SB1-0155
Solicitation Year:
2004
Solicitation Topic Code:
SB041-009
Solicitation Number:
2004.1
Small Business Information
SMART INFORMATION FLOW TECHNOLOGIES, D/B
1272 Raymond Ave, St. Paul, MN, 55108
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
Y
Duns:
103477993
Principal Investigator:
Christopher Miller
Chief Scientist
(612) 716-4015
cmiller@sift.info
Business Contact:
Harry Funk
Vice President, R&D
(612) 578-7438
hfunk@sift.info
Research Institution:
n/a
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government