#Authors#Qu, C., Brinkman, W.-P., Wiggers, P., & Heynderickx, I.
#Venue#Presence Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 22(2), 91-109
Having a free speech conversation with avatars in a virtual environment can be desirable in
virtual reality applications such as virtual therapy and serious games. However, recognizing and
processing free speech seems too ambitious to realize with the current technology. As an
alternative, pre-scripted conversations with keyword detection can handle a number of
goal-oriented situations as well as some scenarios in which the conversation content is of
secondary importance. This is, for example, the case in virtual exposure therapy for the
treatment of people with social phobia, where conversation is for exposure and anxiety arousal
only. A drawback of pre-scripted dialog is the limited scope of user’s answers. The system cannot
handle a user’s response, which does not match the pre-defined content, other than by providing
a default reply. A new method which uses priming material to restrict the possibility of the
user’s response is proposed in this paper to solve this problem. Two studies were conducted to
investigate whether people can be guided to mention specific keywords with video and/or picture
primings. Study 1 was a two by two experiment in which participants (n = 20) were asked to
answer a number of open questions. Prior to the session, participants watched priming videos or
unrelated videos. During the session, they could see priming pictures or unrelated pictures on a
whiteboard behind the person who asked the questions. Results showed that participants tended
to mention more keywords both with priming videos and pictures. Study 2 shared the same
experimental setting but was carried out in virtual reality instead of in the real world.
Participants (n = 20) were asked to answer questions of an avatar when they were exposed to
priming material before and/or during the conversation session. The same results were found:
the surrounding media content had a guidance effect. Furthermore, when priming pictures
appeared in the environment, people sometimes forgot to mention the content they typically
Keyword dialogs with priming as pragmatic solution to NLP short comings.
Seeks to use the virtual world to give an illusion of free will, ironically, primed by visual content. What does this say about our sense of free will. Hmmmm.
Useful social phobia application, doe it hold that visual priming will work when obtaining information from experts in the field? I think it does, due to the obvious priming effect. If the avatar is an expert, then one can surmise that a person in the world could use the virtual world priming to provoke relevant questions in world, and extract better information from the participant in the interview.
They state they are the first in this place; my work on this topic is a close second! Yay!
VRET is considered as good as "in-vivo"; I prefer the word "in-situ" from my perspective.
They do not seem to be across the latest developments in NLP and speech recog.; their main citation is from 2000!
Igroup Presence Questionnaire (IPQ) (Schubert, Friedmann, & Regenbrecht, 2001). can be used to assess immersion levels for effects by oculus rifts etc. with an online database for comparison - NOTE THIS FOR FUTURE WORK!
They have found a significant effect with priming via images and videos - more keywords were mentioned with real setting and with virtual setting. Results were significant.
Note, their results are with an immersive HMD; need to see if effects transfer to less immersive environments such as laptops, tablets etc. Would be an interesting experiment.
They note issues with the lack of realism of the virtual world, and its possible noise effect on the differences. However, one would assume that a poorly modelled world giving a good outcome for this work should indicate that the realism is above threshold for the priming effect.
They found that people still gave common answers to questions, even with the priming effects with videos. Pictures seemed to suppress common answers from the participants.
So, from my perspective, this work supports strongly the idea that conversations can be affected by the priming effect of virtual world content. Thus, I can hypothesise that using virtual worlds for process model elicitation should be positively affected by a representation of the interviewee's workplace. The expected priming effects should occur.
Slater, M. (2009). Place illusion and plausibility can lead to realistic behaviour in immersive virtual environments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London - Series B: Biological Sciences, 364 (1535), 3549–3557.
Pena, J., Hancock, J. T., & Merola, N. a. (2009, September). The Priming E↵ects of Avatars in Virtual Settings. Communication Research, 36 (6), 838–856.
Schubert, T., Friedmann, F., & Regenbrecht, H. (2001). The Experience of Presence: Factor Analytic Insights. Presence Teleoperators Virtual Environments, 10 (3), 266–281.