[Elsnet-list] CfP-ECAI'08 Workshop on ECAs, speech and dialogue

ccallawa at inf.ed.ac.uk ccallawa at inf.ed.ac.uk
Wed Feb 20 18:13:16 CET 2008

[Apologies for multiple postings]

First Call for Papers for

Integrating Embodied Conversational Agents with Speech
and Advanced Dialogue Modeling

A Workshop in conjunction with the European Conference on AI
Monday 21st July, 2008 ? Patras, Greece

Topics and Goal

Language technology is a key component in human-computer interfaces, as it
increases the chances for non-technical people to quickly and successfully
interact with computers. Embodied Conversational Agents (ECAs) can similarly
allow for easier communication as well as provide the familiarity they are
used to in conversations in their daily lives, while reducing the required
learning time.

Research into ECAs has progressed to the point where it is common to include
them as an interface option, even in deployed commercial systems like website
assistants. However, like push-button telephone menus, their dialogue
capabilities have been extremely limited, due to ECA research that has focused
mainly on other issues such as believability and simulating low-level
multi-agent turn-based communication.

This workshop is intended to address this gap between the expectations and
actual capabilities of dialogue in ECAs, focusing on application areas where
it is already common to have ECA-based interaction. We welcome those
researchers who are interested in studying adding ECAs to existing advanced
dialogue systems, as well as those with applications involving ECAs who are
interested in endowing them with the ability to communicate via richer natural
language dialogue.

A further aim of this workshop is the use of affect in speech for
dialogue-based ECAs. Speech is a very natural form of interaction, and
including affect in ECA based interfaces provides for a more natural style of
human-human conversation, just as imperfect visual details underlie the
"uncanny valley" phenomenon. Understanding a user's affective state and
communicating the internal affective state in an ECA-based systems should
provide for a more emotionally engaging experience for the user, while helping
establish trust.

We intend to explore topics from, but not limited to, the following areas:

* Dialogue strategies involving computer participants
* Infrastructure for interpretation and generation of natural language
* Representation and reasoning needed to add ECAs to existing applications
* Detecting affect in student utterances or generating affective feedback
* Integration of language with other modalities (e.g., speech and gesture)
* Authoring tools for ECAs that have dialogue systems
* Rigorous evaluation of any of the above topics

We welcome submissions for both oral (up to 8 pages) and poster presentation
(up to 4 pages) describing original, previously unpublished research.

Important Dates
April 10, 2008  -  Workshop paper submission deadline.
May 10, 2008    -  Notification of workshop paper acceptance.
May 26, 2008    -  Workshop camera ready copy submission
July 21, 2008   -  Workshop date.

Organizing Committee
Charles Callaway, University of Edinburgh, UK
Andrea Corradini, University of Potsdam, Germany
Manish Mehta, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Program Committee
Jan Alexandersson, DFKI, Germany
Lars Bo Larsen, Aalborg University, Denmark
Marc Cavazza, Teesside University, UK
Marcela Charfuelan, DFKI, Germany
Rachel Coulston, OHSU, USA
Jens Edlund, KTH, Sweden
Joakim Gustafson, KTH, Sweden
Thomas Hanneforth, University of Potsdam, Germany
Ed Kaiser, Adapx, USA
Antonio Krueger, University of Muenster, Germany
Sanjeev Kumar, Cisco Systems, USA
James Lester, North Carolina State University, USA
Brian Magerko, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Brian McWhinney, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Anton Nijholt, University of Twente, the Netherlands
Patrick Olivier, Newcastle University, UK
Ana Paiva, INESC-ID/Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal
Catherine Pelachaud, Université de Paris 8 and INRIA, France
Kari-Jouko Räihä, University of Tampere, Finland
Mark Riedl, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Markku Turunen, University of Tampere, Finland
Johannes Wagner, Southern Denmark University, Denmark

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