Judging Laura: Perceived Qualities of a Mediated Human Versus an Embodied Agent

  • Renate ten Ham
  • Mariët Theune
  • Ard Heuvelman
  • Ria Verleur
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3661)


Increasingly, embodied agents take over tasks which are traditionally performed by humans. But how do users perceive these embodied agents? In this paper, we describe an experiment in which we compared a real person and a virtual character giving route instructions. The voice, the outfit and the gestures were kept (close to) identical for both cases. The participants judged them, among other things, on trustworthiness, personality and presentation style. In contrast to the outcome of earlier investigations, in most categories the agent scored better or comparable to the human guide. This suggests that embodied agents are suitable to take the place of humans in information-giving applications, provided that natural sounding speech and natural looking nonverbal behaviors can be achieved.


Nonverbal Behavior Virtual Character Real Person Separate Item Human Voice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renate ten Ham
    • 1
  • Mariët Theune
    • 1
  • Ard Heuvelman
    • 2
  • Ria Verleur
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science 
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral SciencesUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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