Towards smart embodiment for virtual agents


This paper introduces the notion of smart embodiment, defined as the capacity for embodied agents to construct outer appearances that 1) trigger specific reactions, behaviors, and impressions in users, and that 2) match the roles and personality profiles of both the agents and their users. Although there are many ways to implement smart embodiment, an approach that is particularly rich in possibilities is to model the person perception of human appearance. Since a model of person perception is a model of how most people perceive the physical presentations of others, it will provide virtual agents with a rudimentary form of social consciousness and social selfawareness as well as a means of participating in the social language of the body.

To illustration how smart embodiment can proceed from a model of person perception, I provide a brief review of my research in modeling the trait impressions of the face for both social perception and face synthesis using standard PCA face recognition techniques.

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