Observatorio de I+D+i UPM

Memorias de investigación
Thesis:
USER-CENTRIC NEED-DRIVEN AFFECT MODELING FOR SPOKEN CONVERSATIONAL AGENTS: DESIGN AND EVALUATION
Year:2013
Research Areas
  • Artificial intelligence,
  • Perception of language,
  • Emotion
Information
Abstract
It is easy to get frustrated at spoken conversational agents (SCAs), perhaps because they seem to be callous. By and large, the quality of human-computer interaction is affected due to the inability of the SCAs to recognise and adapt to user emotional state. Now with the mass appeal of artificially-mediated communication, there has been an increasing need for SCAs to be socially and emotionally intelligent, that is, to infer and adapt to their human interlocutors? emotions on the fly, in order to ascertain an affective, empathetic and naturalistic interaction. An enhanced quality of interaction would reduce users? frustrations and consequently increase their satisfactions. These reasons have motivated the development of SCAs towards including socio-emotional elements, turning them into affective and socially-sensitive interfaces. One barrier to the creation of such interfaces has been the lack of methods for modelling emotions in a task-independent environment. Most emotion models for spoken dialog systems are task-dependent and thus cannot be used ?as-is? in different applications. This Thesis focuses on improving this, in which it concerns computational modeling of emotion, personality and their interrelationship for task-independent autonomous SCAs. The generation of emotion is driven by needs, inspired by human?s motivational systems. The work in this Thesis is organised in three stages, each one with its own contribution. The first stage involved defining, integrating and quantifying the psychological-based motivational and emotional models sourced from. Later these were transformed into a computational model by implementing them into software entities. The computational model was then incorporated and put to test with an existing SCA host, a HiFi-control agent. The second stage concerned automatic prediction of affect, which has been the main challenge towards the greater aim of infusing social intelligence into the HiFi agent. In recent years, studies on affect detection from voice have moved on to using realistic, non-acted data, which is subtler. However, it is more challenging to perceive subtler emotions and this is demonstrated in tasks such as labelling and machine prediction. In this stage, we attempted to address part of this challenge by considering the roles of user satisfaction ratings and conversational/dialog features as the respective target and predictors in discriminating contentment and frustration, two types of emotions that are known to be prevalent within spoken human-computer interaction. The final stage concerned the evaluation of the emotional model through the HiFi agent. A series of user studies with 70 subjects were conducted in a real-time environment, each in a different phase and with its own conditions. All the studies involved the comparisons between the baseline non-modified and the modified agent. The findings have gone some way towards enhancing our understanding of the utility of emotion in spoken dialog systems in several ways; first, an SCA should not express its emotions blindly, albeit positive. Rather, it should adapt its emotions to user states. Second, low performance in an SCA may be compensated by the exploitation of emotion. Third, the expression of emotion through the exploitation of prosody could better improve users? perceptions of an SCA compared to exploiting emotions through just lexical contents. Taken together, these findings not only support the success of the emotional model, but also provide substantial evidences with respect to the benefits of adding emotion in an SCA, especially in mitigating users? frustrations and ultimately improving their satisfactions.
International
No
Type
Doctoral
Mark Rating
Sobresaliente cum laude
Date
07/06/2013
Participants
  • Autor: Syaheerah Binti Lebai Lutfi (UPM)
  • Director: Juan Manuel Montero Martinez (UPM)
  • Director: Fernando Fernandez Martinez (UPM)
Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Grupo de Tecnología del Habla
  • Departamento: Ingeniería Electrónica
S2i 2020 Observatorio de investigación @ UPM con la colaboración del Consejo Social UPM
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNCIDE 2011 (OTR-2011-0236)
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNPACTO (IPT-020000-2010-22)