mas 960 Signals, Truth and Design - Personal representations

MAS 960  ·  Signals, Truth & Design Seminar  ·  Fall 2007

11.27 Personal Representations



Donath, Judith    Virtually Trustworthy
J Cassell, H Vilhjįlmsson   Fully Embodied Conversational Avatars: Making Communicative Behaviors Autonomous
Paulos and Canny   PRoP: personal roving presence
Bailenson, Beall, Loomis, Blascovich and Turk   Transformed Social Interaction: Decoupling Representation from Behavior and Form in Collaborative Virtual Environments
optional Kristine L Nowak, Christian Rauh   The Influence of the Avatar on Online Perceptions of Anthropomorphism, Androgyny, Credibility, Homophily, and Attraction


Linden Labs   Second Life
Fernanda Viegas and Judith Donath   Chat Circles and paper
Kurlander, Skelly and Salesin    Comic Chat and paper


  Read the papers and explore the programs. (for Comic Chat, read the paper - I have included a link for obtaining the software and you are welcome to try it, though I have not been able to get it to work successfully).
    Answer the following questons:
  • What is the mapping between input (e.g. typing, commands, mouse movements, etc.) and outputin Chat Circles, Comic Chat (from your reading of the paper), and Second Life? How expressive is the avatar? What action drives that expression? How reliably does it relate to the user's intended expression?
  • Chat Circles avoids the problem of spurious expression by not having much in the way of expression. If you were designing the next generation version of it, what additional expressive capability would you build in, that is, what would the signal be (the visible action) and what would it indicate? How reliable would this signal be? For example, how would you implement a version of gaze (attention signaling)?
  • Is gaze a signal for the Paulos and Canny PRoP? What dos it indicate? What makes it especially important
  • Bailenson discusses ways that avatars can be transformed to manipulate impressions. Is this "deceptive"? When is it desireable? For whom?
    Please link your essays by Monday midday.