Conversational Avatars represent computer programs (networks) in their interaction with human users by means of a graphical humanoid body on a screen. They interact with Internet users by leading online dialogues, and their social and task-oriented dialogue abilities are important. Conversational Avatars function within conversational environments (for example chat or games), and often they resemble humans (with a three dimensional virtual body), able to express verbal and nonverbal behaviour.
A typical usage is pretty similar to a Conversational Agent. Look at the following video how a Conversational Avatar can survey customers nowadays:
In 2004 Smart Information Flow Technologies (SIFT) and Dr. Lewis Johnson from Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California completed Etiquette Quotient: Evaluating Social Skills in Conversational Avatars project. They developed a believability metric. It is used for assessing and predicting when a given level of etiquette behavior exhibited by a Conversational Avatar or non-player character (NPC) in a game or simulation would be perceived as “unbelievable” by a human player or observer. This video presents an overwiev of the project.
The term Conversational Avatar is typically used by artificial intelligence researchers as a subclass of Embodied Conversational Agents. The term is also used by chatbot developers, as Conversational Avatar is a synonym of chatbot. The term is used quite rarely though.
The term Conversational Avatar is a composite of two words: conversational and avatar.
The word conversation signifies the spoken exchange of thoughts, opinions, and feelings; talk. It originates from the Latin word conversationem (nominativus conversatio) meaning “act of living with”.
The term Avatar dates back to 1784 and means literarily “descent of a Hindu deity” from Sanskrit (the classical Indian literary language from 4th century B.C.E.). In Sanskrit avatarana means “descent” (of a deity to the earth in an incarnate form), from ava- “down” + tarati “(he) crosses over”.
Avatar’s meaning expanded beyond the strictly religious as an “incarnation of a spirit in a human body on earth”, nowadays signifying a personification, an embodiment, an incarnation or a representation of an idea, a concept, an object, a man, or a woman.
The term Conversational Avatar was first used in 1999 in a paper of Justine Cassell and Hannes Högni Vilhjálmsson titled Fully Embodied Conversational Avatars: Making Communicative Behaviors Autonomous.
Conversational Avatar pages
Although we use chatbot as the main synonym on this website, please do not be confused. There are more than 161 synonyms in use by academics, business and conversational avatar enthusiasts! It is simply a matter of reading between the lines.
Please check out our main directory with 1220 live conversational avatar examples (an overview as maintained by developers themselves), our vendor listing with 190 conversational avatar companies and conversational avatar news section with already more than 365 articles! Our research tab contains lots of papers on conversational avatars, 1,166 journals on conversational avatars and 387 books on conversational avatars. This research section also shows which universities are active in the conversational avatar field, indicates which publishers are publishing journals on humanlike conversational AI and informs about academic events on conversational avatars. Also, check out our dedicated tab for awards, contest and games related to the conversational avatar field, various forums like our AI forum by conversational avatar enthusiasts and add any conversational avatar as created by yourself and your colleagues to our conversational avatar directory. Please do not forget to register to join us in these exciting times.
A selection of pages on this website using 'conversational avatar':