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FearNot! The use of empathy towards autonomous agents for education purpose. Sibylle Enz, Carsten Zoll, Harald Schaub Universität Bamberg 6 th German Workshop on Artificial Life Apr 15-16, 2004. Content. FearNot! Fun with Empathic Agents Reaching Novel Outcomes in Teaching

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fearnot the use of empathy towards autonomous agents for education purpose

FearNot!The use of empathy towards autonomous agents for education purpose

Sibylle Enz, Carsten Zoll, Harald Schaub

Universität Bamberg

6th German Workshop on Artificial Life

Apr 15-16, 2004

content
Content
  • FearNot! Fun with Empathic Agents Reaching Novel Outcomes in Teaching
  • The Bullying Problem
  • Empathy and it’s role for FearNot!
    • Character Believability & Empathy
    • Empathy in FearNot!
      • Designing Empathic Agents
      • Promoting Empathy in the User: The First Person Shooter Experiment
  • Designing FearNot! Characters
      • Designing Empathic Agents
      • Promoting Empathy in the User
  • FearNot! Structure
  • Speech Acts
  • Evaluation
1 fearnot fun with empathic agents reaching novel outcomes in teaching
(1) FearNot! Fun with Empathic Agents Reaching Novel Outcomes in Teaching
  • Final product of the EU Framework V project VICTEC
  • Innovative intervention approach for bullying in schools
  • Experience of bullying incidents for children aged 8-12 in a Virtual Learning Environment
  • Believability of scenarios and character behaviours
  • Educational goal: awareness for bullying and reduction of bullying behaviour
t he partners
The Partners
  • Centre for Virtual Environments, University of Salford (UK)
  • University of Hertfordshire (UK)
  • Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores (INESC-ID) (Portugal)
  • Autor, Tecnologias Multimédia S.A. (Portugal)
  • Institute of Theoretical Psychology, University of Bamberg (Germany)
2 the bullying problem
(2) The Bullying Problem
  • Repeated negative action that occurs regularly over time with the intention to hurt; imbalance of power between pupils (Olweus, 1999)
  • Main types of bullying behaviour:
    • direct/physical (punching, kicking, …)
    • verbal (nasty name calling)
    • relational (social exclusion, rumour spreading)
  • Bullying roles: bully, victim, bully-victim, bystander
  • Intervention initiatives: limited success in reducing bullying problems

 innovative approach needed

3 empathy and it s role for fearnot
(3) Empathy and it’s Role for FearNot!
  • Believable scenarios: collaboration with schools
  • Believable characters:
    • Design: cartoon characters instead of almost realistic characters (“uncanny valley”; Mori, 1978 )
    • Autonomy: agents act autonomously “creating” stories runtime (emergent narrative)
    • Personality: coherent behaviour based on personality parameters
    • Empathy
3 empathy and it s role for fearnot7
(3) Empathy and it’s Role for FearNot!

Changes in the internal state of an “observer” due to the perceived internal state of a “target”

  • Cognitive Empathy:

Observer knows the internal state of the target

  • Affective Empathy:

Observer feels something due to the perception of the internal state of the target

  • Ideomotoric Empathy:

Motoric pre-activation within the observer due to perception of target movement

3 empathy and it s role for fearnot8
(3) Empathy and it’s Role for FearNot!

1) promoting empathic relationships between user and character

2) designing empathic agents

empathy towards virtual agents the fps experiment
Empathy towards Virtual Agents – The FPS Experiment

First Person-Shooter

Doom:

Player experiences the 3D virtual world through the eyes of the hero while killing monsters

the fps experiment research questions
The FPS Experiment - Research Questions
  • Does empathy play a role in player – agent relationship?
  • How does empathy affect the virtual aggressive behaviour?
the fps experiment
The FPS Experiment
  • Development of FPS using „3D gamestudio“ software
    • game duration, protocols, experimental manipulation of opponent design
  • Game parameters:
    • number of killed opponents, number of objects, duration, life energy
  • Sample:
    • 30 subjects (10 male, 20 female)
    • age 19-33 (M=22.4; SD=3.56)
the fps experiment opponents
The FPS Experiment - Opponents

Cartoon

Humans

Box

Robots

the fps experiment results
The FPS Experiment - Results
  • Highly empathic subjects empathize more with (human-like) opponents
    • Choice of opponent, scruples
  • Affective/Cognitive Empathy: no influence on successful playing
    • Importance of emotional expression for empathic processes
  • Ideomotoric Empathy: positively correlated with success
    • Anticipation of opponents’ motoric action
4 designing fearnot characters
(4) Designing FearNot! Characters

1) promoting empathic relationships between user and character

  • Similarity: facilitates empathic processes
  • Emotional expression: facial and body expression, speech acts
  • Situation: higher-order control mechanism to allow for reasonable episode sequencing

2) designing empathic agents

  • agent acts in empathic way towards other agents
  • agent architecture
4 2 designing empathic agents
(4.2) Designing Empathic Agents

Agent Requirements:

  • recognise other agents’ states by emotional expressions
  • express emotions by voice, facial/body expressions
  • “have” emotions that are linked with action
4 2 designing empathic agents20
(4.2) Designing Empathic Agents
  • Actions
    • Joy: smile, laugh, dance
    • Happy-For: felicitate, encourage
    • Sorry-For: apologise, encourage, protect
    • Anger: ignore, hit, aggress, avoid, humiliate
    • Distress: cry, sit on the floor, beg
    • Speech Acts
slide21

(5) FearNot! Requirements

  • Semi-realistic (3D) school environment
  • Adaptable to different situations:

country; gender; rural/urban; large/small school

  • Must run on school computers
  • Must enable evaluation process
5 fearnot creating bullying scenarios
(5) FearNot!Creating Bullying Scenarios

Development of physical & relational bullying scenarios using software 'Kar2ouche’

  • Bullying incidents are episodic by nature
  • Inspired by “real” bullying situations: cooperation with schools
5 fearnot structure
(5) FearNot! Structure

Introspection Phase: Communication with the victimized character

Episodes:

Watching unfolding bullying events

Trailer

6 speech acts
(6) Speech Acts
  • Specific challenges: bullying context & cross-cultural implementation
  • Agents interact using discrete actions, within a reception / appraisal / selection loop: common representation
  • Speech Acts consist of
    • Semantic info: the meaning of utterance
    • Function: the purpose of the utterance
6 speech acts25
(6) Speech Acts
  • Predefined set of speech acts
  • Classified alongside intended actions: threat, apology, insult
  • Use of templates for each speech act

Template:

<GreetingWord><Name?><StatusQuestion?>

Language Act:

<From>Tom</From><To>Luke</To><semanticInfo name=”true” statusQuestion=”random”/>

Yields:

Hello Luke, how are you?

6 speech acts the fearnot language action knowledge base
(6) Speech Acts The FearNot! language action knowledge base
  • HELP
    • Enquiry about emotional state
    • Help offer
    • Advice regarding problems
    • Protection
    • Assistance
  • CONFRONTATION
    • Altercation
    • Physical bullying expressions
    • Threats, insults, orders, aggressive behaviour
  • SOCIALISING
    • Social discussions
    • Relational bullying (exclusion patterns)
6 speech acts wizard of oz experiment
(6) Speech ActsWizard of Oz Experiment
  • User-agent-interaction
  • Goal: collecting utterances and spelling mistakes that are typically used by the target group
  • Method: child user “interacts” with the victim character (= wizard) providing advice
  • Sample: 8 German pupils (4♂; 4♀) aged 8-10
evaluation design main interest
Evaluation Design – Main Interest
  • Does the software meet the technical and usability requirements?
  • Does the interaction with FearNot affect children’s (views on) bullying behaviour?
  • Can FearNot help to improve the empathic abilities of the child users?
  • Do children actually develop empathy towards the characters in the scenarios?
victec trailer evaluation
VICTEC Trailer Evaluation
  • Goal: evaluation of
    • likeability of the 3-D characters
    • believability of the bullying scenarios
    • empathic feelings created between the child user and the animated characters
  • Results: (UK sample)
    • children like cartoon characters
    • 68% of children reported high story believability
    • physical attributes of the characters rated as unbelievable by some children, but no negative impact on story engagement & believability
further information on the project
Further information on the project…
  • Ruth Aylett (project coordinator)

r.s.aylett@salford.ac.uk

  • Sibylle Enz, Carsten Zoll, Harald Schaub

{sibylle.enz;carsten.zoll;harald.schaub}@ppp.uni-bamberg.de

  • The Project Website

www.victec.org