Creating bonds with humanoids

In conjunction with

AAMAS 2005 Workshop








Humanoids (virtual such as Embodied Conversational Agents, ECAs in short, or human-like robots) are a powerful means of interaction between humans and machines. They allow the user to converse with his usual means of communication, namely, words and gestures. Nowadays, humanoid agents are being employed to provide information, explain pedagogical material, or sell products. But they promise even more; they can be the individualized, privileged companion of a user; they can be assisting and entertaining, and they can be emotive. By the simple fact of their human-like appearance and behavior, users tend to build up relationships with ECAs and human-like robots, just as they do with human folks. In order that the user perceives and accepts the ECA as a companion, the ECA too should maintain such a relationship. Tying and maintaining these bonds is highly related to the engagement between interactants. But engagement does not mean pervasiveness. Humanoids should not invade the userís working space, nor should they intervene at any time. Rather, they ought to gain the capability to determine when to intervene and for which reason. This workshop is particularly interested in this topic: how humanoids can create and maintain social and affective relationships with the user.  Such agents ought to be enhanced with capabilities of:

perceiving userís engagement

soliciting userís engagement

maintaining userís engagement

knowing when and how to interact

Over and above, they need to be able to interact emotionally with the user. Thus they should:

display recognizable emotional behaviors

perceive userís emotion

react according to userís emotion


The topic of this workshop is on the bonds that humans and humanoids (virtual or not) may create with each other when interacting. More specifically, it lies on techniques and models allowing an agent to build a long lasting relation with the user. This is not restricted to models of complex concepts such as personality, culture, social role and the like, which are of course primordial elements intervening in building relationships. For example, Nass and colleagues have shown that users prefer interacting with agents that look like themselves, personality-wise and culturally-wise.

But in this workshop, we are not only interested in such aspects per se, but more in the way operational models can be developed and practically used for humanoid agents. Thus, we propose to look at the relationship itself: how it is build, how its evolution in time can be detected, how it can be maintained. These are fundamental questions to resolve when building an ECA or a human-like robot that would be our companion in the future interfaces. It is the aim of this workshop to identify and to tackle those questions, calling for our understanding of:

the different kinds of relationships (e.g. short-time vs. long-term, social, emotional, etc.) possible between humans and humanoids

the factors influencing their establishment, maintaining, and breakup

the technical models/methods required to recognize, solicit, maintain,

the methods with which they can be evaluated

the benefits and risks of "bonding" humanoids

The purpose of this full-day workshop is to bring together researchers and developers of embodied conversational characters to exchange ideas and experiences on the various aspects involved in creation bonds with humanoids:


speech (voice, intonation)

cognitive, personality and emotion models

nonverbal communication


graphics look

dialogue capabilities and social interaction with other agents

Contributions from related fields like cognitive science and psychology (e.g. on guidelines for models of relationships) are welcome, as well as presentation and evaluation studies of ECAs and robots which operate based on complex models.



Issues to be addressed:

model of agentís attention
model of detecting userís engagement
model of soliciting and maintaining userís engagement
perception model of emotion
simulation models of emotion
model of back-channels
evaluation studies, e.g. on measurement of user engagement




Submissions can be either short papers of 2-4 pages (statements of interest, position statements) or long papers of 8 pages maximum, following AAMAS specified style (see

Submissions should be sent to: Catherine Pelachaud




April 1, 2005            Deadline for submitting of contributions to workshops    CHANGED!!

April 18, 2005              Acceptance Notifications of contributions to workshops

July 25-26, 2005          AAMAS-05 Workshops




Primary Contact: Catherine Pelachaud (LINC, IUT de Montreuil - University of Paris 8, 140 rue de la Nouvelle France, 93100 Montreuil, France)                


Elisabeth Andrť, University of Ausburg, Germany


Stefan Kopp, University of Bielefeld, Germany



Zsofiŗ Ruttkay, Twente University, The Netherland




Elisabeth Andrť, DE
Norman Badler, USA

Tim Bickmore, USA

Kerstin Dautenhahn, GB

Arjan Egges, CH

Dirk Heylen, NL

Nicole Kraemer, DE
Stefan Kopp, DE

Ana Paiva, PT

Catherine Pelachaud, FR

Christopher Peters, FR

Helmut Prendingher, JP

Zsofia Ruttkay, NL

Candace Sidner, USA

Kris Thůrisson, Iceland