• Conference Proceeding

Usability and acceptability studies of conversational virtual human technology


Guinn, C., Hubal, R., Frank, G., Schwetzke, H., Zimmer, J., Backus, S., ... Zelon, H. (2004). Usability and acceptability studies of conversational virtual human technology. In Proceedings of the 5th SIGdial Workshop on Discourse and Dialogue at HLT-NAACL 2004, Cambridge, MA,.


Acceptance, accessibility, and usability data
from a series of studies of a series of applications
suggest that most users readily accept responsive
virtual characters as valid
conversational partners. By responsive virtual
characters we mean full-body animated, conversant,
realistic characters with whom the
user interacts via natural language and who
exhibit emotional, social, gestural, and cognitive
intelligence. We have developed applications
for medical clinicians interviewing
pediatric patients, field interviewers learning
about in-formed consent procedures, and telephone
interviewers seeking to obtain cooperation
from respondents on federally-funded
surveys. Usage data from informational kiosks
using the same underlying technology (e.g., at
conference exhibits) provide additional corroboration.
Our evidence suggests the technology
is both sufficient to actively engage
users and appropriate for consideration of use
in training, assessment, and marketing environments.