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Les agents virtuels expressifs et leur impact sur l'induction de l'empathie chez l'utilisateur : application au domaine de la formation médicale.

Abstract : Pedagogical agents, non-player characters, virtual advisors or assistants, virtual agents are more and more present in our daily life. Some attract our attention, seem to show us interest, to be able to communicate and to express their emotional states. These agents have been the subject of numerous investigations in various fields of research such as computerscience, psychology or cognitive sciences. The work of this PhD thesis focuses on the expressive virtual agents and their impact on the user empathy induction. The evolution of computer graphics techniques now makes it possible to create virtual agents that are visually and behaviorally realistic. The expressiveness of agents is an important issue for human-computer interactions. However, it is still rare for virtual agents to be equipped with facial expressions, thus limiting their ability toinduce empathy in the user.Our work follows up on the perspectives opened by researchers in the field concerning the transcription of emotions on a virtual agent, and contributes to extend the knowledge concerning interactions with agents, in particular the impact of their expressiveness on the implementation of an empathetic situation. To carry out this work, we conducted two experiments. The first one deals with the recognition of basic emotions on a virtual agent designed using advanced modeling techniques. This study also allowed us to evaluate the relevance of human expressiveness factors on the agent, notably the presence of expression wrinkles and the variation of pupil size according to the emotional state, to facilitate the perception of the agent’s emotions. Our second experiment focuses on the impact of the virtual agent’s facial expressiveness on the user’s empathy. Depending on the context, the results show that user’s perspective taking, the cognitive component of empathy, is greater when the realistic virtual agent presents emotional facial expressions compared to an agent who has no facial expressions. Finally, we studied the impact of the agents’ expressiveness on the user’s engagementand social presence. This study opens perspectives on a potential correlation between the notions of empathy, social presence and engagement.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 20, 2020 - 6:01:27 PM
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Anne-Sophie Milcent. Les agents virtuels expressifs et leur impact sur l'induction de l'empathie chez l'utilisateur : application au domaine de la formation médicale.. Autre [cond-mat.other]. HESAM Université, 2020. Français. ⟨NNT : 2020HESAE014⟩. ⟨tel-03017275⟩

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