Ebook: Affective and Emotional Aspects of Human-Computer Interaction
The learning process can be seen as an emotional and personal experience that is addictive and motivates learners to proactive behaviour. New research methods in this field are related to affective and emotional approaches to computer-supported learning and human-computer interactions. The major topics discussed are emotions, motivation, games and game-experience. The book is divided in three parts, part I, Game-based Learning, reflects upon the two-way interaction between game and student, thus enabling the game to react to the student’s emotional state. Having the possibility to detect and steer the emotional state of the student could have a positive impact on using digital games in education. It is claimed that some commercial computer games increase cognitive skills and may enhance multitasking abilities and the participants’ general ability to learn. Part II, Motivation and Learning, analyses whether the absence or presence of social and personal cues in the communication between a tutor and his or her students influence students’ learning and their satisfaction with the tutor and the course. The research showed that not all types of personal information are equally important and possibly pictorial information is more important than audible information. Part III, Emotions and Emotional Agents, discusses the production of learning environments which enhance the learner’s self esteem, ensure that the learner’s best interests are respected through paying attention to the narrative structures of the learner’s experience, and the ways in which communication can be enhanced through empathy with the learner.
The aim of the interdisciplinary workshop “Affective and Emotional Aspects of Human-Computer Interaction: Emphasis on Game-Based and Innovative Learning Approaches” is to define new research directions related to affective and emotional approaches to computer-supported learning and human-computer interactions. The workshop is a unique opportunity to bring together, on the one hand, scientists and research contributions from psychology, educational sciences, cognitive sciences, various aspects of communication and human computer interaction, interface design and computer science and, on the other hand, educators and the game industry. The intensive exchange of information from various research fields should open the gates for evolutionary change and new research directions in technology-supported learning.
Part of the research presented at the ESF workshop is published in this book. For the purpose of this book publication, an additional call for chapters was issued to the international research community, so as to obtain contributions worldwide that reflect the current research in this field. Gathered and reviewed, eighteen selected contributions are grouped into three topics: Game-based Learning, Motivation and Learning, and Emotions and Emotional Agents.
To decide how to categorize the contributions was a very difficult task, hence all the contributions explore the learning process as an emotional and personal experience that is addictive and motivates the learner to proactive behavior. The major topics such as emotions, motivation, games and game-experience, though in different equivalents and various priorities, are present in all of the contributions, thus offering a variety of possible solutions for contribution classification. However, I leave the challenge to organize the contributions differently for the next publication.
Jon Sykes, in his contribution Affective Gaming: Advancing the Argument for Game-Based Learning, reflects upon the two-way interaction between game and student, thus enabling the game to react to the student's emotional state. Having the possibility to detect and steer the emotional state of the student could have a positive impact on using digital games in education.
In the chapter Didactic Analysis of Digital Games and Game-Based Learning, the author Matthias Bopp leads us through different games, starting from Pong by Atari to the latest developments in immersive 3D games. He regards these games as virtual environments that 'teach' the player to perform entertaining actions and proposes a schema to analyse the didactic methods of virtual games, featuring situational, temporal and social aspects. Furthermore, Bopp analyses the didactic methods in popular educational games. Concluding, the author asks if some of the didactic methods used in entertaining games may be used to improve educational games and points at same challenges of such an attempt.
Recent research carried out at the UNITEC, University of Technology New Zealand, indicates that some commercial computer games increase cognitive skills and may enhance the participants' ability to learn. Reported research results in the chapter Immersive Environments: What Can We Learn from Commercial Computer Games? by Paul R. Kearney, suggest that the immersive environment of Counter-Strike does in fact enhance multitasking abilities, but this may be in response to the immersive environment that is created rather than the game content itself. The ability of learners to multitask will require a rethink of traditional learning styles, argues the author.
“Why do I identify with a yellow circular shape on my computer screen and feel that shape being a part of me when I play a game of Pac-Man? Why do I engage in the game play process to such a degree that when this yellow thing gets crammed into a corner with no way to run and no way to hide, I feel severe distress and call for help loud and clear and wake my kids in the middle of the night? ...” In his chapter What Is a Game Ego?, Ulf Wilhelmsson strives to find answers to these and similar questions by proposing a framework for understanding computer games from diverse fields of research: film theory (including theories on narration and narratives), theories on visual perception (which are also applicable to sound) and experientialist cognitive theory.
Hakan Tüzün was inspired by the extreme interest and motivation of children to play the Quest Atlantis game (participating in the pure game activities as well as educational tasks with the same intensity). In the chapter Multiple Motivations Framework, he proposes an organizing framework from which to explain things of significance for motivating learners. His research study is based on the qualitative methods, and the research outcomes provide a very different perspective than what is available in understating motivation. The proposed framework is based on multiple elements that contribute to one's motivation and that collectively constitute the activity of motivation, i.e. Duality of Subject, Duality of Activity, Duality of Outcome, Duality of Object, and Context of Support.
In the chapter An Instructional Design/Development Model for the Creation of Game-Like Learning Environments: The FIDGE Model, the authors Göknur Kaplan Akilli and Kürsat Cagiltay tackle issues of the lack of available comprehensive design paradigms and well-designed research studies on the question of “how to” incorporate games into learning environments, that are experienced despite more than thirty years' existence of computer games and simulations in the instructional design movement. Based on the formative research study results and with the inspiration from fuzzy logic, the authors propose an instructional design/development model for creating game-like environments, called the “FIDGE model”. “FIDGE” stands for “Fuzzified Instructional Design Development of Game-like Environments” for learning.
Learning when Using Commercial Computer Games as Simulations: A Case Study Using a Simulation Game is a chapter by Preston P. Parker, where the author looks at using an off-the-shelf commercial computer game, Age of Empires II, as a simulation to facilitate learning Multimedia Production Management and explores the possibilities of implementing a structure—mapping elements of the game to elements in real-life. This study shows that it is possible that learning objectives can be reached when using a commercial computer game with some obvious mappings, but mostly analogous mappings, to reality. The described case also urges further pursuit of studies on how to use off-the-shelf commercial computer games and how to build an intervention around the game that can facilitate achieving a specific learning objective.
Igor Mayer and Geertje Bekebrede review the use and usefulness of digital games and simulations for (e-) learning, training and decision & policy support of technological infrastructures, such as ports, container terminals, off-shore wind farms etc. In their chapter Serious Games and 'Simulation Based E-Learning' for Infrastructure Management, several examples of such applications are presented. Three cases that bear relevance to infrastructure are discussed in more detail as follows: CONTAINERS ADRIFT is a computer-supported simulation-game revolving around the planning and design of an inland container terminal, VENTUM ON LINE is a multi-user on-line role playing game that is concerned with the planning and design of an off shore wind farm, SIM MV2 is an animated and network based simulation game commissioned by the Port of Rotterdam to explore and support the planning and design of its second harbour area (2nd Maasvlakte).
Motivation and Learning
In their contribution Learning and Motivation with Virtual Tutors, authors Manuela Paechter and Karin Schweizer report on their research concerned with social processes in the virtual classroom. “How important is information about a tutor or lecturer in an online seminar?”, “Is social information about the tutor's appearance or his or her voice important for learning?” and similar questions concerning the role of a tutor and the form of communication between a tutor and students, were investigated in a university seminar. It was analyzed whether the absence or presence of social and personal cues in the communication between a tutor and his or her students influence students' learning and their satisfaction with the tutor and the course. The research showed that not all types of personal information are equally important and possibly pictorial information is more important than audible information. At this point the authors conclude that further research needs to be carried out related to these questions.
The aim of the pilot study presented in the chapter Achievement Motivation, Performance Structure, and Adaptive Hypertext Learning was to investigate whether the sound and empirically valid knowledge space theory is able to cover learning and performance in two different motivational states, which were hope for success and fear of failure. These motivational states were combined with two different learning conditions e.g. pre-structured learning sessions within an adaptive tutorial system contrasting to rather free text-based learning. The data collected with 104 high school students in the domain of elementary probability theory indicate that knowledge space theory is able to represent the responses obtained in a post-test for both motivational states, as well as for both learning conditions. The authors Jürgen Heller, Dietrich Albert, Michael Kickmeier-Rust and Markus Kertz conclude that the results of the presented pilot study strongly encourage the research program to integrate cognitive and emotional/motivational aspects into a comprehensive psychological model for adaptive tutorial systems.
An Interactive Dictionary of Concepts: An Exploratory Platform for Enhancing Communication Between the Concepts by Ania Lian, offers a description of a non-commercial, web-based communication platform. The platform was designed in order to facilitate and support a negotiation process between various interest groups and, as a result, between the concepts in which the interests of these groups are embedded. Unlike standard dictionaries, the Interactive Dictionary of Concepts does not come with ready-made entries. Instead, it enables individuals who are investigating various concepts and issues to create their own entries, which are then situated and organised within the constraints of the management structure of the Dictionary. These creative constraints themselves function as tools for stimulating and generating the critical reflection of authors upon the concepts which they are investigating. This is achieved by offering conditions which challenge, enrich and help to systematise the associations which inform the ideas of authors and their beliefs.
The project outlined in the chapter Human-Computer Interaction: Sharing of Intergenerational and Cross-Cultural Knowledge is designed to investigate attitudinal changes amongst young children, undergraduate students, and senior citizens, in both synchronous and asynchronous learning environments when engaged in Web-mediated collaborative knowledge sharing activities. The global eMuseum System (GEMS) research project extends the principles of a Generative Virtual Classroom and Schank's Sickle Cell Counselor, by combining social interaction through linguistics in a communicative collaborative model. The project team manages the complexity of dealing with diverse subjects by adopting three distinct experiential environments. The first involves senior citizens recalling traditional stories and games. The second defines undergraduate student interaction in a multi-cultural setting, while the third relates to young children's propensity for playful sharing of experiential learning materials. The tracking of the collaborative nature of the involvement with the eMuseum will enhance the knowledge of interaction between generations, creating a capacity for emergent innovative global legends, concludes Elspeth McKay.
Apart from providing the right functionality (being useful) and giving access to it (being easy to use), interactive products also provide hedonic qualities when being applied. The hedonic quality has a stimulation and an identity aspect.
The central question of the study outlined by Michael Burmester and Annely Dufner in the chapter Designing the Stimulation Aspect of Hedonic Quality – An Exploratory Study is which type of product features support the stimulation aspect of hedonic quality and whether this quality can be systematically increased in the design process. This exploratory study had the goal to explore types of feature ideas, design principles, and methods in order to design products showing a high degree of the stimulation aspect of the perceived hedonic quality. Based on the combination of theoretic foundations and tacit knowledge of design experts with user centred evaluation of the outcome of design work, successful strategies to design attractive products can be derived.
Emotions and Emotional Agents
In the chapter On the Role of Self Esteem, Empathy and Narrative in the Development of Intelligent Learning Environments, Paul Brna discusses the production of learning environments which enhance the learner's self esteem, ensure that the learner's best interests are respected through paying attention to the narrative structure of the learner's experience, and the ways in which communication can be enhanced through empathy with the learner. The author outlines experiences of using narrative in learning environments and observations made through the examples of the NIMIS project and the T'rrific Tales software, that was designed to both scaffold the development of narrative skills and to actively guide learners. The evidence of the benefits of empathic narrative-based design for explicitly supporting the development of the learner's self esteem is not yet available even if the indications are favourable.
The role of empathy in the construction of synthetic characters to interact with learners in intelligent learning environments is the main focus of the chapter Empathic Characters in Computer-Based Personal and Social Education written by João Dias, Ana Paiva, Marco Vala, Ruth Aylett, Sarah Woods, Carsten Zoll and Lynne Hall. The authors outline an example of an interactive learning virtual environment called Fear-Not!, that uses synthetic characters and role playing, developed as a set of bullying situations, which emerge from the actions and interactions between synthetic characters in a 3D virtual world. The system was designed to evoke affective responses by the users, in this case children, and has been evaluated with 345 children in June 2004. The evaluation results show that empathic interactions were achieved with synthetic characters.
The effectiveness of intelligent tutoring systems, for instance on-line learning systems, can be improved when the learner's emotions are taken into account. A necessary condition for this is that the system will be able to recognize the learner's current emotional state. The authors Mohammed A. Razek, Soumaya Chaffar, Claude Frasson and Magalie Ochs present an extremely simple method that can be used for determining emotional state, the Emotion Recognition Agent (ERA), which is devoted to exploit the natural relation between emotions and colors. By giving a sequence of three colors, a person can express his/her emotion reliably. Based on the ordered choice of colors the ERA system determines someone's emotion with 57.6 % accuracy. “In fact, the recognition of somebody's emotions is known to be one of the central features of, and even a necessary condition for, Emotional Intelligence. Therefore, our system can be seen as a first step towards realizing online tutoring systems that are emotionally intelligent and can use this ability for the sake of improved learning efficiency.” is the conclusion of the authors in their chapter Using Machine-Learning Techniques to Recognize Emotions for On-Line Learning Systems.
In their paper A Framework for Emotional Agents as Tutoring Entities, the authors Bogdan Florin Marin, Axel Hunger and Stefan Werner show how they integrate agent technology to support collaborative learning in distributed environments. The aim of their research is to provide the first steps in defining a method for creating a believable tutor agent which can partially replace human teachers and assist the students in the process of learning. The authors postulate that the application of emotional animated agents in online learning environments as a tutoring paradigm can be beneficial and increase the learners' motivation. The prototype agent is able to display emotions by means of synthetic speech, facial display and gestures. Verbal and non-verbal behavior is synthesized in the agent's mental model and interpreted in a learning-session. In the paper the authors also discuss the premises under which emotional agents can be pedagogically effective as tutors in a collaborative learning environment.
Cyrus F. Nourani addresses affective computing with a new haptic computing logic. The author argues that “if there is a Gestalt model for the world decided on, the answer might be affirmative. From our published perspective we are where the objects are described with languages as Frege intended, modeled by structures, which can be examined by Kant's transcendental Idealism, and their computability and reducibility areas Hilbert arithmetized. Hence there is a systematic basis to carry out concept-object descriptions for machine discovery, a premise to an illusion logic is developed ”. In his paper A Haptic Computing Logic – Agent Planning, Models, and Virtual Trees, the author discusses questions such as 'are intelligent decisions based on emotions?' He also suggests other related issues that influence creativity, planning, perception, and mood-congruent memory retrieval, with precise computing and cognitive models. These “foundations are applied to present a brief on Computational Illusion, affective computing, and virtual reality.”
The argument for game-based learning (GBL) has stagnated. The justification for introducing games into the classroom has not developed in over 30 years. However, the introduction of digital game-based learning is not merely a change of gaming platform, but a significant advancement in learning technology. The two-way interaction between game and student provides unique paralinguistic communication, allowing the game to potentially react to a player's emotional state. With learning being so dependant upon the student's emotions, affective gaming could herald a revolutionary step in the delivery of education.
The article looks at (non educational) digital games as learning and teaching environments that may provide helpful suggestions for the design of digital educational games. It suggests to use a three dimensional theoretical framework to identify didactic methods in digital games (situational, temporal and social dimension) and uses this framework to give a brief outline of didactic methods in commercial digital games today. After that it compares these methods with the use of didactic methods in common digital educational games today.
It is known that puzzle games, such as Tetris, enhance the player's cognitive abilities, but today's students opt for more action filled games such as first person shooters or role playing games. Recent research suggests that some commercial computer games increase cognitive skills and may enhance the participants ability to learn. However, it appears that it is not attributed to the gameplay of such games, but to the immersive environment created by the realism and the intense situation that the player experiences. This article suggests that these facets found in commercial games should be embraced by educators and supplement the learning environment of today's digitally literate students.
What is a Game Ego (or How the embodied mind plays a role in computer game environments) addresses questions concerning why and how a computer game player identifies her or himself with a Game Ego in computer game environments. The theoretical framework used to address these questions is drawn mainly from three fields of research: film theory (including theories on narration and narratives) theories on visual perception (which are also applicable to sound) and finally experientialist cognitive theory. The central claims of this paper are: the process of identification with a manifestation of a Game Ego has a bodily basis. The Game Ego is primarily a bodily based function that enacts a point of being within the game environment through a tactile motor/kinesthetic link. The human conceptual system shows a relationship to the motor system of the human body and is tightly connected to the emotional system so that no clear-cut boundary can be drawn between them. The more direct and immediate the control of this agent is, the stronger the identification is as well.
Computer games are considered as powerful tools to learning and they have a potential for educational use. However, the lack of available comprehensive design paradigms and well-designed research studies about the question of “how to” incorporate games into learning environments is still a question, despite more than thirty years' existence of computer games and simulations in the instructional design movement. Setting off from these issues, a formative research study is designed to propose an instructional design/development model, which may be used for creation of game-like learning environments. Depending on the results and with the inspiration from fuzzy logic, an instructional design/development model for creating game-like environments, which is called as “FIDGE model” is proposed.
As educators and trainers continue to turn to technology, they are constantly seeking to find ways to make interventions quicker, better, and cheaper. This case study looks at using an off-the-shelf commercial computer game, Age of Empires II, as a simulation to facilitate learning Multimedia Production Management. Age of Empires II was not created for this purpose. The possibilities of implementing a structure—mapping elements of the game to elements in real-life—are explored. The participants of this case study felt that the intervention helped them learn elements of Multimedia Production Management.
The authors review the use and usefulness of digital games and simulations for (e-) learning, training and decision & policy support of technological infrastructures, such as ports, container terminals, off shore wind farms etc. The recently established 'serious games initiative' promotes and explores the use of the concepts and technologies of the entertainment, video-gaming and e-learning industries for serious purposes, i.e. higher education, professional and corporate training, policy support and management. Several examples of such applications are presented and three cases that bear relevance for infrastructures, are discussed in more detail: CONTAINERS ADRIFT is a computer-supported simulation-game revolving around the planning and design of an inland container terminal. VENTUM ON LINE is a multi-user on-line role playing game that revolves around the planning and design of an off shore wind farm. SIM MV2 is an animated and network based simulation game commissioned by the Port of Rotterdam to explore and support the planning and design of its second harbour area (2nd Maasvlakte).
In the past, formal models of cognitive psychology successfully contributed to the development of computerized adaptive tutorial systems. Emotional and motivational aspects, however, were rarely considered, although a variety of studies demonstrated their significant influence on learning and performance. The aim of the current pilot study was to investigate whether the sound and empirically valid knowledge space theory is able to cover learning and performance in two different motivational states, which were hope for success and fear of failure. Moreover, within a factorial design these motivational states were combined with two different learning conditions. Pre-structured learning sessions within an adaptive tutorial system were contrasted with rather free text-based learning. The data collected with 104 high school students in the domain of elementary probability theory indicate that knowledge space theory is able to represent the responses obtained in a post-test for both motivational states, as well as for both learning conditions. These results lay out a promising route to integrating cognitive and emotional/motivational aspects into a comprehensive psychological model for adaptive tutorial systems.
In this chapter, we describe a non-commercial, web-based communication platform which we have called an Interactive Dictionary of Concepts. The platform was designed in order to facilitate and support a negotiation process between various interest groups and, as a result, between the concepts in which the interests of these groups are embedded. We find support for the development of such a platform in the concern expressed by Calhoun (2002) that increased communication between individuals and groups requires practical experiments based on models of interaction that seek to “improve[s] the quality of opinions, educate[s] the participants and form[s] a collective understanding of issues that advance[s] beyond pre-existing definitions of interests or identities”. Calhoun claims further that without such models, our use of IT might be reduced to “websites giv[ing] the impression of consisting simply of the spontaneous postings of the public” (Calhoun, op. cit., The idea of the public sphere section, para. 6).
The Interactive Dictionary of Concepts is a management structure written in the LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP) protocol consisting of a set of forms used to enter information into a database and another set of forms for retrieving it. Retrieval is also supported through the use of search engines such as Google in combination with special identification headers. The Dictionary is still in a developmental stage. It responds to the challenge issued by Calhoun by offering a set of conceptual and software tools designed to overcome the interactional limitations of conventional course design (often implemented in management systems such as WebCT despite the wider potential offered by their innate structural flexibility). Typically, these courses limit communication possibilities by being structured around objectives which pre-determine the relevance of the interactions which they generate.
On the other hand, in the Interactive Dictionary of Concepts, the objectives which motivate its design do not exert such a limiting function. On the contrary, the relevance of the interactions which they generate is a function of the impact that the entries in the Dictionary have on subsequent interactions which they inform. In other words, their relevance is in the communication which they help to establish between their own terms and those which inform other contexts. The structure of the Dictionary has no other purpose but to facilitate the flow between different terms or concepts. It does so with tools designed to prevent compartmentalisation of interests, thus enabling and facilitating a dialogue across different groups and beliefs. In turn, this allows individuals and groups to expand and, as a result, to reformulate the terms which form and inform their criteria of judgment.
Unlike standard dictionaries, the Interactive Dictionary of Concepts does not come with ready-made entries. Instead, it enables individuals who are investigating various concepts and issues to create their own entries, which are then situated and organised within the constraints of the management structure of the Dictionary. These creative constraints themselves function as tools for stimulating and generating the critical reflection of authors upon the concepts which they are investigating. This is achieved by offering conditions which challenge, enrich and help to systematise the associations which inform the ideas of authors and their beliefs. Thus the structure of the Dictionary generates conditions which enable communication or dialogue to flow where it would otherwise have stopped when concepts reflect opinions, rather than being the product of a methodology which requires systematised reflection.
The Dictionary can be thought of as a framework supporting and generating production (and investigation) of critically-informed entries on all kinds of issues of interest, each sourced in different perspectives and none exhausting them. Entries are organised according to a specific framework which is common to all entries. This shared framework then forms a structure which links the independently produced entries and relevant information together, thus effectively creating from these entries a single, large (potentially infinite) text produced by many, for many, and on issues whose relevance to others can emerge in serendipitous and unpredictable ways through use of the search facilities of the Dictionary. Thus the Dictionary has the potential to store a conceptual history of the ideas of individuals (or groups) from all over the world, systematised and made available in the form of searchable entries.
In this perspective, the structure of the Dictionary was not conceptualised as a way of improving the affective and emotional aspects of human-computer interaction as such. Instead, we made it our priority to utilise the exploratory potential of its tools to enhance the quality of the interactions of humans, thus enhancing the process by which individuals and groups feel and become integrated with one another. In turn, this form of integration develops individuals' and groups' emotive links with each other by facilitating the process of conceptual and emotional advancement raised by Calhoun. Moreover, the framework of the Dictionary enables and supports varied forms of engagement which help to develop, in individuals, a heightened sense of the value of their own contributions to the community.
Thus the potential of the Interactive Dictionary of Concepts is multiple. It functions as a platform which generates dialogue and, therefore, as a system which can assist individuals or groups in their task of investigating issues of concern. Further, the interactions which it generates and accumulates can support different projects, unpredictable in form, which share a concern for a dialogic mode of inquiry. The Interactive Dictionary of Concepts is also a management structure which provides an extremely flexible system for storing and retrieving its concepts and relevant information. Moreover, the search categories of the Dictionary function as tools in support of a critical analysis of texts, and is particularly useful in the process of reading and writing. Overall, the structure of the Interactive Dictionary of Concepts helps us to create an environment which is thoroughly organic, i.e. where different concepts and projects have the possibility of impacting upon, informing or triggering unpredictable dialogic contexts. In this chapter, we will discuss the intellectual framework behind the structure of the Dictionary, its potential educational applications and discuss the analytical and systematising capacity of its tools against practical examples of the entry-like texts created by students of Thai and English, and by the author, while experimenting with the tools and the concept of critical inquiry which informs them.
For some, the quest for new knowledge is an inherent pastime. Previously, much of what humans learnt was handed down by previous generations. The tools by which this knowledge transfer took place limited to a human-to-human context; where speech and drawings provided the transmission of ideas. However, the implementation of electro-communication tools through the internet is bringing about a global anthropological revolution in human knowledge transfer. Web-based technologies have promoted the concept of learning partnerships and lifelong learning , with interest in globalised learning communities gaining momentum . Although there is an expectation that lifelong learning will extend, in a natural sense, into the broader community, thereby promoting learning societies, the current tools are not effectively reaching key sectors of the community such as the special education arena . Furthermore, little is known about the interactive effect of cognitive development and Web-mediated multimedia instruction on performance outcomes in the education and training sectors . This Chapter will discuss a project underway linking Japan and Australia in an intergenerational cross-cultural study. The project is designed to investigate attitudinal changes amongst young children, undergraduate students, and senior citizens, in both synchronous and asynchronous learning environments when engaged in Web-mediated collaborative knowledge sharing activities.
It is widely discussed that products should provide more qualities than just providing the right functionality (being useful) and giving access to it (being easy to use). Hassenzahl  postulated that users perceive pragmatic and hedonic qualities when using an interactive product. The hedonic quality has a stimulation and an identity aspect. The central question of this study is which type of product features support the stimulation aspect of hedonic quality and whether this quality can be systematically increased in the design process. In a moderated workshop, experienced design experts were introduced to the theoretical model of perceived pragmatic and hedonic qualities and were asked to invent stimulating product features for a given online shop. The hedonic qualities of these feature ideas and of online shops showing more or less of these features were evaluated by shop users in an online survey. First conclusions for systematic design of the stimulation aspect of hedonic quality will be derived.
The advent of techniques for affective computing , both in capturing user's emotional states and allowing for systems to display emotionally charged expressions, has allowed for a new development of interactive media. Following these ideas, in this paper we will discuss the role of empathy in the construction of synthetic characters to interact with learners in intelligent learning environments. We tried to answer the question: How can we build synthetic characters that are able to evoke and establish empathic relations with learners in a interactive learning virtual environment? To do that, we will describe a system, FearNot!, that uses synthetic characters and role playing, developed as a set of bullying situations, which emerge from the actions and interactions between synthetic characters in a 3D virtual world. The system was designed to evoke affective responses by the users, in this case, children. FearNot! has been evaluated with 345 children in June 2004. The results achieved show that empathic interactions were achieved with synthetic characters.
The effectiveness of intelligent tutoring systems, for instance on-line learning systems, can be improved when the learner's emotions are taken into account. A necessary condition for this is that the system will be able to recognize the learner's current emotional state. Traditional methods for doing this are based on measuring physical parameters, most typically the facial expression or muscle tension, however, they are neither comfortable for the user nor useful in a distributed environment such as the Internet. Furthermore, filling out a long questionnaire is a time-consuming task. In contrast, we present an extremely simple method that can be used instead, the Emotion Recognition Agent (ERA), which is devoted to exploit the natural relation between emotions and colors. We have performed experiments demonstrating both the simplicity and the accuracy of our ERA method which employs machine learning techniques for determining a user's emotion given colors sequence.
Current distance education systems try to mitigate the difficulties encountered by learners when they try to follow a distance course. The use of emotional animated agents in such environments as a tutoring paradigm can be benefic and increase the learners' motivation. This paper discusses the premises under which emotional agents can be pedagogically effective as tutors in a collaborative learning environment. This work highlights a framework for creating believable synthetic agents.
A haptic logic and computing paradigm is presented with a basis for multiagent visual computing with the Morph Gentzen logic. The techniques since 1999 are the bases to a haptic logic and multiagent cognition where central affective computing questions might be addressed.The computing model is based on a novel competitive learning with agent multiplayer game tree planning. Specific agents are assigned to transform the models to reach goal plans where goals are satisfied based on competitive game tree learning. Affectice computing is addressed with a new haptic computing logic. Questions such as 'Are intelligent decisions based on emotions?' are addressed. Further questions on emotions and consciousness models studied. (The IM_BID model is introduced for planning and spatial computing. Visual intelligent objects are applied with virtual intelligent trees to carry on visual planning. New KR techniques are presented with G-diagrams and applications to define computable models and relevant world reasoning. G-diagrams are diagrams defined from a minimal set of function symbols that can inductively define a model. G-diagrams are applied to relevance reasoning by model localized representations and a minimal efficient computable way to represent relevant knowledge for localized AI worlds. Diagrammatic reasoning is defined in terms of inferences directed by the G-diagrams for models. The techniques show how computable AI world knowledge is representable. G-diagrams are applied towards KR from planning with nondeterminism and planning with free proof trees to planning with predictive diagrams. The IM Morph Gentzen Logic for computing for multimedia are new projects with important computing applications since the author's and contemporary projects on diagrammatic computing. The basic principles are a mathematical logic where a Gentzen or natural deduction systems is defined by taking arbitrary structures and multimedia objects coded by diagram functions. The techniques can be applied to arbitrary structures definable by infinitary languages. Multimedia objects are viewed as syntactic objects defined by functions, to which the deductive system is applied. A basis to VR computing and computational illusion is presented.