Published on November 17, 2016 by University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering

Abstract: In this talk, I will discuss research I conducted for my PhD thesis on how embodied agents–both virtual agents and physical robots–can achieve positive social and communicative outcomes through the use of situated gaze mechanisms. I will discuss why social gaze is one of the most important nonverbal cues to consider for interactive embodied agents and present several projects I have carried out to design and test models of gaze behavior for agents in various contexts. These projects include (1) how agents can produce gaze shifts that target specific high-level interaction outcomes, (2) how agents can effectively utilize gaze aversions in conversation, (3) how agents can coordinate their gaze with the user’s gaze while collaborating on a physical task, and (4) how agents can adapt their gaze behaviors to the personality of their users for rehabilitation. I will also discuss current research directions into situated interaction with robots that I am now pursuing at Microsoft Research.

Speaker’s Bio: Sean Andrist is a researcher at Microsoft Research in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction group. His research interests involve designing, building, and evaluating socially interactive technologies that are physically situated in the open world. He recently received his PhD from the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he conducted research on gaze mechanisms for the development of communicative characters, including both embodied virtual agents and social robots.

4 November 2016

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