ALICE 2017
7th International Workshop on Adaptive Learning via Interactive, Cognitive and Emotional approaches

Intelligent Virtual Agents for Education and Training

This talk will provide an overview of the types and uses of Intelligent virtual agents. Intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) have been a growing area of research within the field of Artificial Intelligence in the past 20 years. An IVA is a piece of software, generally considered to be autonomous in some way, that imitates the behaviour of a human or animal and is embodied within a virtual environment. A primary aim in the field of virtual agents is the creation of believable characters that are useful in their situated paradigm (e.g. games, narratives, education,assistive computing, etc.). There is a significant body of work in the area of believable characters which may be known as pedagogical agents, embodied conversational agents, artificial companions, talking heads, empathic or listening agents depending on their function, level of sophistication or the particular research focus such as emotion and appraisal systems or language technology. The talk will provide an overview of the field, including my research concerning IVAs and memory, emotions and collaborative learning for applications such as debriefing and reminiscing, border security officer training, scientific inquiry and science education, real estate assistance, museum guidance, and adherence to treatment advice.

Deborah Richards is a Professor in the Department of Computing at Macquarie University. Following 20 years in the ICT industry during which she completed a BBus (Comp and MIS) and MAppSc (InfoStudies), she completed a PhD in artificial intelligence on the reuse of knowledge at the University of New South Wales and joined academia in 1999. While she continues to work on solutions to assist decision-making and knowledge acquisition, for the past decade, her focus has been on intelligent systems, agent technologies and virtual worlds to support human learning and well-being.