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The use of intelligent virtual agents in language learning has increased in recent years. Studies into several aspects of personalisation aiming to increase user engagement are an ongoing research topic with avatar personality being one such aspect. As a step towards our development of intelligent virtual avatars, we present two of our initial experiments to explore differences in user interaction with two contrasting avatar personalities -- P1: open-minded, friendly and sociable and P2: closed-off, curt and distant. Each user interacted with a single personality in a video-call setting and gave feedback on the interaction. Our expectations, that P1 would be rated more enjoyable and induce participants to talk more, were only partially confirmed. While P1 did induce longer conversations in the participants, we found that interactions with both personalities were enjoyed and that user perception of P1 and P2 differed, but less than intended. Several possible causes for these results are discussed, and we outline impacts for follow on intelligent system design.
Dobbriner, J., Ennis, C., & Ross, R. (2021). Virtual Tutor Personality in Computer Assisted Language Learning. Technological University Dublin. DOI: 10.21427/WSCC-VZ06
Science Foundation Ireland
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