AtGentive: Attentive Agents for Collaborative Learners


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Presentation of the AtGentive project that was given at the IST Call 4 Project meeting;
6-7 February 2006. Luxembourg

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AtGentive: Attentive Agents for Collaborative Learners

  1. 1. AtGentive Attentive Agents for Collaborative Learners AtGentive; IST Call 4 PM2006 Workshop; 6-7 February 2006, Luxembourg Thierry Nabeth & Albert A. Angehrn INSEAD CALT (Centre for Advanced Learning Technologies)
  2. 2. Table of content: <ul><li>The Attention Challenges in the information society </li></ul><ul><li>AtGentive: A Presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Concrete illustration </li></ul><ul><li>Potential areas for collaborations </li></ul>
  3. 3. The new conditions of the Information Society <ul><ul><li>A complex world with an explosion of elements to deal with (information, technologies, solicitations, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An increase level of autonomy and responsibility of people (students, learners & employees) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But, Basically the same people (limited human mental capacities, motivations). </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The attention challenges: <ul><li>Perception . How to deal in an effective way (filtering the bad, selecting the good) with this massive “flood” of information, knowledge, technologies and solicitations </li></ul><ul><li>Reasoning & Decision . How to process all this knowledge. How to make sense out of it. How define objectives and to decide the next lines of action. </li></ul><ul><li>Execution. How to deal with the execution of multitude of activities that users & groups are now engaged in (without being overwhelmed, distracted, and allocating the best their attention). </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is AtGentive <ul><ul><li>The objective of AtGentive is to investigate the use of Artificial Agents for supporting the Management of the Attention of young or adult learners in the context of individual and collaborative learning environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AtGentive = At t entive + A Gent s </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. AtGentive provides: <ul><ul><li>Digital environments for supporting schools and learning networks (virtual communities) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Variety of Mechanisms providing attentional support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance Perception : Attention friendly interfaces (e.g. Filter details, Magic Lens, social transluscence), different intervention modes (embedded characters), etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Support for reasoning & development of attentional metacognitive skills (help to situate, to make plans, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide attentional guidance (via agent interventions ) to people during their activities. (assess them, refocus them, stimulate them) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Agents ? <ul><ul><li>Some Components are able to reason and intervene proactivelly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Artificial characters are used for some of the Interventions. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Two “applications” <ul><ul><li>Two application domains: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>AtGentSchool (for Schools): Agent-enhanced environment for Schools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>AtGentNet (for Learning Networks): Agent-enhanced virtual community platform. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two pilots to validate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CELN schools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>STC learning Network </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A User-Centred design approach </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. AtGentSchool: Children engaged into learning experiences <ul><ul><li>The users: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Children in schools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They write stories </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They can access expert and professors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They work in small groups </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The agents assist them, guide them, and stimulate them </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 11. AtGentNet: Supporting Knowledge exchange <ul><ul><li>The users: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Managers geographically distributed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They work in SMEs and they feel isolated </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They share documents and cases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They share experiences via interaction in discussions (forum, chats, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They can also engage into some learning activities (lectures, simulations, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Who is Edward Fox ? Where does Mr Fox works?
  12. 13. <ul><li>Scenarios illustrating how to: </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance user perception </li></ul><ul><li>More effectively help people to better manage their attention </li></ul><ul><li>Help them to develop attentional self-reflective metacognitive capabilities </li></ul>Some Scenarios
  13. 14. First mechanisms: space structuration & specialisation (metaphor) <ul><li>AtGentNet will be structured as a set of well identified and specialised spaces supporting a limited number of activities. The forms is which these spaces are presented to the users will be chosen to make it very clear the context and the nature of the activities taking place in a given space </li></ul><ul><li>Hypothesis to investigate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The creation of dedicated spaces will reduce the likelyhood of distraction of the user. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Besides, the form of the space will reinforce the perception of the context of the interaction </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. Second mechanisms: the ”Magic Lens” <ul><li>Individual enhancing and filtering of shared representation </li></ul><ul><li>The Magic Lens concept consist in providing a personalized enhanced perception of a common representation, taking into account the specificity of the users interacting with this representation. More concretely the different users wearing this magic leans (that can be activated in the browser) will get a slightly perception of the shared space (Cybrary, Forum, Chatroom, etc.) in which they interact. </li></ul><ul><li>Example of user experiences: in a forum, the user will see magnified the posting of the other users that are important to him. </li></ul><ul><li>Hypothesis to investigate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Magic lens will be able to provide individual attentional support without impeding the collaborative dimension </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Third mechanisms: Agent Guidance <ul><li>The Agent, aware of the user’s profile and of the context may proactively intervene. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: an embodied character, only visible by the user, may intervene and indicate an item of particular importance </li></ul><ul><li>An agent may suggest an action to a student. For instance in AtGentSchool, the agent may ask the student a specific action related to the creation of a story (write an introduction). </li></ul><ul><li>an agent may suggest some new behaviour and practices. (your quote all your messages as very important. “Do you know the story of the boy who cried Wolf”. Or, I observe that you are using the email to communicate with the same group of people. Why not to create a blog? it may help you to make best use of your time.) </li></ul><ul><li>An agent may question the relevance of the behavioural profile with the stated agenda of the user (dissonance). </li></ul><ul><li>Hypothesis to investigate : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to intervene proactively, and generating a positive impact. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Fourth mechanisms: self-reflective tools <ul><li>AtGentNet will provide a set of mechanisms to develop his / her attentional meta-cognitive abilities Via: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The visualisation of it previous activity related to his / her dedicated attention (where did he spent his time, what are his actions). This information will be extracted from the observed activity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A set of assessment of his current way of managing his / attention. The system may indicate an observed attentional profile. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The definition of an agenda (getting focussed), and the suggestion of an attentional profile matching this agenda. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A set of presentation & exercises to understand attentional concepts. (for instance stories presenting cases of bad practices; for instance on the good use of email; different categories of attention –captive / voluntary- -front of mind / back of mind-, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hypothesis to investigate : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is possibility to help the user to develop his/her metacognitive capabilities. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Potential areas for collaboration <ul><ul><li>Cognitive informed systems, metacognition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social translucence mechanisms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Artificial characters (effectiveness) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capturing people activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning agenda </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very open and flexible architectures (web 2.0, web services, mash up) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><ul><li>Attention: A global and pluri-disciplinary perspective . (cognitive psychology, social cognition, management, CHI, etc.). Attention is considered both at an individual and at a “group” level. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced and /or proactive support for attention (“smart spaces”, cognitive agents, embedded characters) for digital collaborative environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two different application contexts / domains: Children Education (Schools) and Knowledge Management (Learning Networks) </li></ul></ul>AtGentive a Summary of the key points: