Modeling the sense of presence of remote participants in hybrid communication and its application to the design of avatar robot behavior

by   Takuma Miyaguchi, et al.

We formulated the sense of the presence of a remote participant in hybrid communication using a Bayesian framework. We also applied the knowledge gained from the simulation with the Bayesian model to the avatar robot's intervention behavior and encouraged the local participants to speak by intervening in the remote participant's behavior using an avatar robot. We then modeled the influence of the avatar robot's behavior on the local participants' statements using an active inference framework that included the presence of a remote participant as a latent variable. Based on the simulation results, we designed the gaze behavior of an avatar robot. Finally, we examined the effectiveness of the designed gaze behavior of the avatar robot. The gaze behavior expressed more of the remote participant's attention and interest in local participants, but local participants expressed fewer opinions in the meeting tasks. The results suggest that gaze behavior increased the presence of the remote participant and discouraged the local participant from speaking in the context of the experimental task. We believe that presence has a sufficiently large influence on whether participants want to express an opinion. It is worth investigating the influence of presence and its control methods using Bayesian models.


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