The purpose of this section is to provide the reader with a brief insight on Embodied Conversational agents ( ECAs). This chapter is organized into three section. The First section gives a general overview about ECAs through literature review. The second Section explores some concerns related to the use of agent in different contexts. The third section considers the design decision’s perspectives of virtual agents
Embodied Conversational Agents ( ECAs)
Embodied agents are computer interfaces which exhibit human-like behaviors (e.g. non-verbal behavior, audio-visual speech, or personality and emotion) . The embodied interface is presented as human face by using state-of-art technology such as realistic three dimensional (3D) facial images. Additionally, Embodied Conversational agents (ECA) is defined by as “an interface in which the systems is represented as a person … such as voice and hand gestures and the internal representation is modality independent and both propositional and non-propositional”. And Kramer states that “virtual agents that are capable of conducting human-like dialogs with the user” , does this make it intelligent? Waern states that “"intelligent system" does not necessarily have an intelligent interface, and neither is a well-designed interface necessarily intelligent.” Waern also explains that both intelligent and well-designed interfaces are too broad and not well defined. Therefore this question remains unanswered.
Studies have suggested that the use of human social skills by embodied agents will ensure more natural and engaging interaction. On the other hand, other studies argue that embodied agents which use human behavior skills may produce false picture of their abilities due to t...
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...5]. towards them . Such enrichment of the behavior of virtual agents creates a stronger connection with the user and increases the effectiveness of communication. Users prefer to interact with virtual agents in the same way as they interact with humans .
Verbal behaviour: The verbal behaviour of the ECAs includes properties, such as speech duration, pitch, etc.  and it also contributes to the human interaction. However, users prefer a verbal response that comes along with a non-verbal one .
Finally, taking the above, about the ECAs, into consideration and what Bickmore et al.  have found that autobiographical stories presented on first person are more preferable than the ones presented on third person we will try to make a research on whether primary school children’s memory retention is also affected by first/third person ECA storytelling.