Social Practice: Becoming Enculturated in Human-Computer Interaction

  • Justine Cassell
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5616)


We present a new approach to the design, development and evaluation of embodied conversational agents (ECAs) that allows them to index identity through culturally and socially authentic verbal and non-verbal behaviors. This approach is illustrated with research we are carrying out with children who speak several dialects of American English, and the subsequent implementation and first evaluation of a virtual peer based on that research. Results suggest that issues of identity in ECAs are more complicated than previous approaches might suggest, and that ECAs themselves may play a role in understanding issues of identity and language use in ways that have promise for educational applications.


Virtual Peers Embodied Conversational Agents Culture Ethnicity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justine Cassell
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Technology & Social BehaviorNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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