Korre, D. (2019) Usability Evaluation of Spoken Humanoid Embodied Conversational Agents in Mobile Serious Game, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Edinburgh, Submittted 8th March 2019.
Embodied conversational agents (ECAs) are virtual characters that can communicate with people through voice and/or text. Even though they have been around for a while, their complexity and flexibility to be used in different contexts allows for further investigation. One context that ECAs have not been tested much in are mobile serious games (MSGs). Mobile serious games are mobile games but with a purpose. Sometimes it is education, others training etc. Many big companies invest in serious games and there is a trend towards MSGs that makes evaluation in the field valuable.
However not all ECAs are equal. For example, there are ECAs with whom you can communicate using voice like Amazon Alexa and others that use text. Another example is the way these agents are presented. One agent might look like a realistic animated human while another one might look like an animal or a fantastic figure.
Therefore, we are studying the effect that specific types of ECAs have on usability. More specifically how the "illusion of humanness" evoked by a human-like ECA can affect the usability of the application. We will be using a serious game called "Moneyworld" which includes two ECAs with different roles and we will investigate their effects on the usability and the participants.
Korre, D. (2012) The impact of realistic virtual humans within immersive environments. M.Sc. Dissertation, Design and Digital Media, School of Arts, Culture and Environment (ACE), University of Edinburgh. August 15, 2012. [Local Copy]
Korre, D. (2015) Usability Evaluation of Humanoid Embodied Conversational Agents on Mobile Serious Game Applications, SICSA Doctoral Consortium Paper. SICSA, Scotland. [Local Copy]
Korre, D. (2018) Show your daughters the joys of science. In EqualBITE: Gender equality in higher education, pp. 162-163 (ed. Robertson, J., Williams, A., Jones, D., Isbel, L. and Loads, D.) Sense Publishers. [Open Access eBook (PDF)] [Local Copy]
Kourtesis, P., Korre, D., Collina, S., Doumas, A. and MacPherson, S. (in publication) Guidelines for the Development of Virtual Reality Software for Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology: The Development of Virtual Reality Everyday Assessment Lab (VR-EAL), A Neuropsychological Test Battery in Virtual Reality, Frontiers in Computer Science, section Human-Media Interaction.