Anthropomorphic Agents as a UI Paradigm: Experimental Findings and a Framework for Research
Stasko, John T.
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Research on anthropomorphic agent interfaces has produced widely divergent results. We suggest that this is due to insufficient consideration of key factors that influence the perception and effectiveness of agent-based interfaces. Thus, we propose a framework for studying anthropomorphic agents that can systematize the research. The framework emphasizes features of the agent, the user, and the task the user is performing. Our initial experiment within this framework manipulated the agent's appearance (lifelike versus iconic) and the nature of the user's task (carrying out procedures versus providing opinions). We found that the perception of the agent was strongly influenced by the task while features of the agent that we manipulated had little effect.