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Sensors 2013, 13(8), 10519-10538; doi:10.3390/s130810519
Article

I Feel You: The Design and Evaluation of a Domotic Affect-Sensitive Spoken Conversational Agent

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Received: 20 June 2013 / Revised: 10 July 2013 / Accepted: 31 July 2013 / Published: 13 August 2013
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Abstract

We describe the work on infusion of emotion into a limited-task autonomous spoken conversational agent situated in the domestic environment, using a need-inspired task-independent emotion model (NEMO). In order to demonstrate the generation of affect through the use of the model, we describe the work of integrating it with a natural-language mixed-initiative HiFi-control spoken conversational agent (SCA). NEMO and the host system communicate externally, removing the need for the Dialog Manager to be modified, as is done in most existing dialog systems, in order to be adaptive. The first part of the paper concerns the integration between NEMO and the host agent. The second part summarizes the work on automatic affect prediction, namely, frustration and contentment, from dialog features, a non-conventional source, in the attempt of moving towards a more user-centric approach. The final part reports the evaluation results obtained from a user study, in which both versions of the agent (non-adaptive and emotionally-adaptive) were compared. The results provide substantial evidences with respect to the benefits of adding emotion in a spoken conversational agent, especially in mitigating users’ frustrations and, ultimately, improving their satisfaction.
Keywords: spoken conversational agents; affect prediction; domotic applications; affective agents; frustration; contentment; conversational features; user satisfaction; emotion model; emotion design and evaluation spoken conversational agents; affect prediction; domotic applications; affective agents; frustration; contentment; conversational features; user satisfaction; emotion model; emotion design and evaluation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lutfi, S.L.; Fernández-Martínez, F.; Lorenzo-Trueba, J.; Barra-Chicote, R.; Montero, J.M. I Feel You: The Design and Evaluation of a Domotic Affect-Sensitive Spoken Conversational Agent. Sensors 2013, 13, 10519-10538.

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