Socially Aware Virtual Characters: The Social Signal of Smiles

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Socially Aware Virtual Characters: The Social Signal of Smiles

At first, machines were mainly used to solve complex mathematical problems. Today, they often embody more and more roles typically endowed by humans, such as a tutor in a virtual learning class or an assistant for virtual task realization.  A socially aware virtual character should be endowed with humanlike social capabilities.

In the March issue of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, a column article discusses the social signal of a smile. The smile has interesting characteristics, both in terms of social functions and in terms of perception. A smile may convey totally different meanings— such as amusement, embarrassment, or politeness—depending on subtle characteristics of the face. Moreover, one’s smiling behavior may affect another’s perception, his motivation, enthusiasm, and even the realization of a task. To learn more, please read the article entitled “Socially Aware Virtual Characters: The Social Signal of Smiles”, by M. Ochs and C. Pelachaud.

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