Grandfathers, cogs and goop: learner choices for designs of companion agents
Tuesday, June 25 5:45 PM-6:15 PM Location: Oak Bay 1
Presider: Lyra Logan, Florida Education Fund, United States
Abstract: “The Shift” is a project that aims to provide a participatory online learning environment and aspect of which an online embodied companion agent or “bot". This paper presents the findings of workshops with potential users of the system to identify the preferred appearance and functionality for this. In later workshops, the products of the design workshops were presented and learners asked to rate these and respond to the different suggestions for functionality. The findings revealed a range of attitudes towards both appearance realism and behavioral realism in bots. The response to highly anthropomorphic appearance was one of high resistance, participants describing the nature of the agent in terms that match the literature’s discussions of “the uncanny”. Realistic behaviour such as personality produced a strongly positive response. The learners therefore preferred realism but not anthropomorphism and these are often blurred together in the literature.