Helper agent: Designing an assistant for human-human interaction in a virtual meeting space

Katherine Isbister, Hideyuki Nakanishi, Toru Ishida, Cliff Nass

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

87 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper introduces a new application area for agents in the computer interface: the support of human-human interaction. We discuss an interface agent prototype that is designed to support human-human communication in virtual environments. The prototype interacts with users strategically during conversation, spending most of its time listening. The prototype mimics a party host, trying to find a safe common topic for guests whose conversation has lagged. We performed an experimental evaluation of the prototype's ability to assist in cross-cultural conversations. We designed the prototype to introduce safe or unsafe topics to conversation pairs, through a series of questions and suggestions. The agent made positive contributions to participants' experience of the conversation, influenced their perception of each other and of each others' national group, and even seemed to effect their style of behavior. We discuss the implications of our research for the design of social agents to support human-human interaction. Copyright ACM 2000.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI'00
Pages57-64
Number of pages8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes
EventSIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2000 - The Hague, Netherlands
Duration: 2000 Apr 12000 Apr 6

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

ConferenceSIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2000
CountryNetherlands
CityThe Hague
Period00/4/100/4/6

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Human-human interaction
  • Social interface agents
  • Virtual meeting place

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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  • Cite this

    Isbister, K., Nakanishi, H., Ishida, T., & Nass, C. (2000). Helper agent: Designing an assistant for human-human interaction in a virtual meeting space. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI'00 (pp. 57-64). (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings). https://doi.org/10.1145/332040.332407