Usability and acceptability studies of conversational virtual human technology
Guinn, C., Hubal, R., Frank, G., Schwetzke, H., Zimmer, J., Backus, S., Deterding, R., Link, M., Armsby, P., Caspar, R., Flicker, L., Visscher, W., Meehan, A., & 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 http://acl.ldc.upenn.edu/hlt-naacl2004/sigdial04/pdf/guinn.pdf
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.