Life Beyond Embodiment

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Some years ago, Paul Dourish introduced the concept of embodiment, which describes the distance between bytes and atoms. Leandro will speak about how an Italian company is working to reduce this distance, by creating emotional virtual agents to move bytes toward atoms on one side, while moving atoms toward bytes, Second Life's human users, on the other.
- Some years ago, Paul Dourish introduced the concept of embodiment, which describes the distance between bytes and atoms. Leandro will speak about how an Italian company is working to reduce this distance, by creating emotional virtual agents to move bytes toward atoms on one side, while moving atoms toward bytes, Second Life's human users, on the other.

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Life Beyond Embodiment

  1. 1. Life Beyond Embodiment Leandro Agro - IxD Director Kallideas group How an Italian company is working to reduce this distance, by creating emotional virtual agents to move bytes toward atoms on one side, while moving atoms toward bytes, Second Life's human users, on the other.
  2. 3. Some people think Second Life is hype. Others think Second Life is falling down. A lot of people like virtual assistants. Others don't care about them. ...it is not important whether a specific technology is cool enough, but whether that technology is along the way between...
  3. 4. We live in a world of cognitive artifacts humans + machines are part of the same ecosystem
  4. 5. We live in a world of cognitive artifacts …and sometimes artifacts outnumber us
  5. 6. We are accidental users of many artifacts! This means user interfaces are... VERY important, because… the evolution of an artifact implies the evolution of the one who uses it
  6. 7. Do you feel the distance between bits and atoms? Earth: the world that we are living in
  7. 8. Do you feel the distance between bits and atoms? Earth: the world that we are living in
  8. 9. How to bridge the gap?
  9. 10. Perhaps we could port some popular Internet services to the real world… Aram Bartholl’s way
  10. 11. Hardware that show your IM status
  11. 12. how about equipping robots with better sensitivity?
  12. 13. Artifact’s UI A user interface is a system in which input devices and interaction techniques determine the tasks that users can handle. Old-fashioned green CRT UIs bring back to mind white lab coats. Meanwhile, today’s GUIs provide new ways to work for almost everybody in the world. …but now, what’s next? Task Interaction technique Input device UI
  13. 14. The gaming industry experimented with a lot of different input devices. Unfortunately, once the joystick became the standard , every game looked similar to the others. Revolutionary UI… It is not simply a new mouse! From Paddles to Pads: Is Controller Design Killing Creativity in Videogames? - Tom Armitage
  14. 15. Blade Runner
  15. 16. We already have a “Blade Runner” UI
  16. 17. In the world of User Generated Contents and long tails: ”markets are conversations” A complex, multimodal approach could fit professionals; while a “ conversational UI ” could fit interactions between companies and people, giving users more flexibility and freedom.
  17. 18. How to bridge the gap? <ul><li>We feel this gap is too large to approach from a single side. </li></ul><ul><li>So, for communications over the Internet, we are creating emotional virtual agents ; </li></ul>K-human ™
  18. 19. Which kind of assistants?
  19. 21. 1988 200x Personal Assistant vs Profiled Users From a personal virtual assistant to an agent that is an extension of the bank, university, Italian restaurant, etc.
  20. 22. Which Technologies do we need to build a working system like the one in the Apple scenarios? First of all, we need: <ul><li>Internet-based </li></ul><ul><li>Multimodal input—the ability to perceive the user... through touch, gesture, eye movement </li></ul><ul><li>Text2speech - Integration with standard Knowledge Base </li></ul><ul><li>Speech recognition (emotions detection) - AI (Brain) </li></ul>Are we able to build an effective Virtual Assistant?
  21. 23. Back to Virtual Assistant’s Dream Julie: customer service Claudia: K-human First intelligent and emotive virtual assistant.
  22. 24. Whitch Brain? Anthropomorphous + Emotional Minsky rejects the idea of consciousness as a unitary &quot;Self&quot; in favor of &quot;a decentralized cloud&quot; of more than 20 distinct mental processes. In this view, emotional states like love and shame are not the opposite of rational cogitation; both, Minsky says, are ways of thinking. Multimodal approaches are changing the rules in UI design, and increasing the bio-diversity in the IT world.
  23. 25. Anthropomorphous software <ul><li>Understand unformatted text </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the human voice (by means of Voice Recognition technology); </li></ul><ul><li>Accept other inputs (touch screen, eye-tracking, DTMF, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Read text (by means of Vocal synthesis technology.); </li></ul><ul><li>Write text and deliver documents (stored in a knowledge base system); </li></ul><ul><li>Perfome actions (like send e-mail, send SMS, print receipts … </li></ul><ul><li>Interact with users emulating humanity with personality + emotionality </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogue with users in a natural way with the goal of understanding </li></ul>
  24. 26. Emotions could fill the gap! Such a process should lead to machines that appear intelligent. Or at least to put up with machines much better than time of windowing interfaces. Roberto Ostinelli, Kallideas R&D Lab
  25. 27. Richer Knowledge requires AI
  26. 28. Your Customers needs AI Critical factors
  27. 29. Market Scenarios Present and upsell products Understand each customer’s needs, access corporate Knowledge Base to identify the best product or solution, propose additional opportunities. A sales agent that knows who you are and the best solution for you. Allow self-training for employees Real-time support in problem solving: answer queries and proactively present new content in an easy and interactive way. Learning by doing has never been so easy. Automate help desks Guide the user in a diagnostic process, increase automate ticket resolution proposing the right solution, best routing the residual escalation. Save you the time spent in finding “how is it broken?” Support customers on new products (DTT) Design a KB approach based on AI to simplify knowledge creation and evolution. Identify issues and automatically solve problems granting comparable user experience on different channels. Learn and improve from every problem. Increase Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty, Sales
  28. 30. Growing customers revenue through conversation Usefulness: New Frontiers of Support Incentive: New Opportunities for cross and up sell Dependence: Pervasive entertainment <ul><li>Guide through your website </li></ul><ul><li>Assist in device and services configuration </li></ul><ul><li>Support form filling, registration, purchasing </li></ul><ul><li>Profile dynamically on the interaction content </li></ul><ul><li>Apply dynamic and adaptive schemes </li></ul><ul><li>React immediately on customers’ feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Interact proactively </li></ul><ul><li>Create an evolving relation </li></ul><ul><li>Customize contents on preferences </li></ul><ul><li>Innovate the way to offer ringtones, music, games, services </li></ul>
  29. 31. How it works BEHAVIOUR MODULE Describes the personality (one each virtual assistant) that filter the emotions through the environment. REPRESENTATION MODULE Analyzes the environment where the inputs are generate (i.e. dialog flow, dialog context). KNOWLEDGE MODULE Represents the inside and extern know how. OUTPUT MODULE Shows the result of emotional output computation and related rendering. EMOTIONS MODULE Represents the emotions set, its math description and the math functions to map the inputs and the representation into emotions. INPUT MODULE Collects all inputs (voice, text, touchscreen, etc...) and analyze their semantic
  30. 32. THE ARCHITECTURE This is Raul. A VA concept for ticketing…
  31. 33. Look behind the scenes
  32. 34. Look behind the scenes
  33. 35. Look behind the scenes
  34. 36. Pixels at your service Tanya interviewed her creators
  35. 38. How does this feel as a UI?
  36. 39. Case Studies
  37. 40. Silvia: Infopoint for customers
  38. 41. Silvia’s specs <ul><li>Multichannel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phone (Automatic Speech Recognition) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web (chat) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Video Streaming </li></ul><ul><li>Horizontal Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Basic AI (rules engine) </li></ul>
  39. 42. Silvia’s Behavior <ul><li>Discussion engine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep track of conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managing the topic switch </li></ul></ul>
  40. 43. Silvia’s Numbers <ul><li>CartaSI holds 8.5 million credit card. The CartaSI call center gets 16 million incoming calls every year CartaSI hold 8,5million of credit card. </li></ul><ul><li>- During the first day (234 calls) she was unable to understand less than 6% of conversations . Silvia said “I don’t understand” more that 100 times. </li></ul><ul><li>After two weeks she miss the meaning of less that 6% of sentences, but can recover by asking the user a new yes/no question. Over 90% of errors are because she completely doesn’t know the topic! </li></ul><ul><li>Silvia understand about 96% of users conversations (first day 89%) </li></ul><ul><li>Silvia’s AI regardless of whether mobile or web users, and she handle more than 1000 calls by day. </li></ul>
  41. 44. Betti: intranet troubleshooter
  42. 45. Betti’s specs <ul><li>Real-Time 3D Rendering </li></ul><ul><li>Text to Speech TTS </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Machine-learning AI (graph navigation) </li></ul>
  43. 46. Betti’s Behavior <ul><li>Disambiguation (she can handle hardware problems and lead users to understand exactly what is wrong). </li></ul><ul><li>Help desk ticket management (by email and IM) </li></ul>
  44. 47. Silvia & Betti <ul><li>Are Similar </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Same rendering engine (3D vs 2D) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Same text to speech (TTS) engine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Same AI engine </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Are different </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stream vs Real Time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Horizontal Knowledge vs Specialized Knowledge </li></ul></ul>When people in CartaSI and other clients talks about K-humans, they don’t talk about pro and cons of their new CRM software. Our clients don’t experiece our VA like a cold piece of HW/SW. They like to talk just about Silvia or Betti.
  45. 48. Tracy Trailer: call her, to discover best movies
  46. 49. Tracy Trailer’s specs <ul><li>She lives in a virtual TV-studio on a mobile phone GigaSIM! </li></ul><ul><li>She is an Intelligent Download Agent (background download of matching and newer trailers) </li></ul>
  47. 50. Tracy Trailer’s Behavior <ul><li>She shows trailers according typologies and movie theatres’ locations </li></ul><ul><li>She updates the user’s profile according to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feedback after the movie </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions about previous films </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feedback about home video releases </li></ul></ul>
  48. 51. What happens when a synthetic world (bytes) hosts humans (atoms)
  49. 52. Tryst: The game <ul><li>A virtual place where it is possible to meet other players </li></ul><ul><li>A virtual home to set our place and host other players </li></ul>
  50. 53. Tryst’s specs <ul><li>For mobile phones only </li></ul><ul><li>Videoportal (Italian tech that mixes video calls with a media player platform) </li></ul><ul><li>Insite eCommerce platform </li></ul>
  51. 54. Tryst’s Behavior <ul><li>Real person gets an avatar to play </li></ul><ul><li>VAs (chat box) are avatar too </li></ul><ul><li>At the very beginning, when playing Tryst, you don’t feel a difference between human players and chat-boxes. Depending the user population, Tryst could be considered </li></ul><ul><li>Dating platform, dating simulation </li></ul><ul><li>Gaming platform (SIMs) </li></ul>
  52. 55. Tryst’s Shopping Engine <ul><li>Digital is not “virtual” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Real digital music </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual object for your home </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Buy for yourself or give a gift to someone else. </li></ul>
  53. 58. Do you remember Claudia?
  54. 59. She is a machine. Bytes (pixel) by bytes (AI).
  55. 61. When Claudia is working (in a call center, for example) she is a machine that replaces (well… actually supports) a human. Meanwhile when Claudia is going around in Second Life and meeting new friends, she is a real person. A human that plays the role of a machine, giving to us an opportunity to reflect about where our world is going. We are getting closer to a huge theatre, where human and machines plays together. ….to be continued (SL: the place where machines learn)
  56. 62. Feel free to ask to me anything you like… http://www.leeander.com As long you as you ask it in Italian :) Q&A We have computers that are more than 100.000 times faster (Moore’s Law) than Apple I (1976), huge and super-fast memory and broadband. The newest input devices can recognize eye gaze, gesture, and voice, not mechanically but taking into account human behaviors. Do you think that VAs are not intelligent enough? Probably, you’re right, but they just started to interact with humans and they are looking smarter every day.
  57. 63. Thank you ! - From GUI to E(motional) UI

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