Feb 142011

Interactive Characters: Online Benefits

Byron Reeves, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University


Research about interactive characters suggests substantial opportunities for them to enhance online experiences. Automated interactive characters take advantage of social responses that are natural reactions to interactive media. They can be perceived as realistic and well- liked social partners in conversations that simulate real-world interactions. Interactive characters can express social roles, emotions, and organized personalities that match learning goals, company brands, and transaction needs. Interactive characters can increase the trust that users place in online experiences, in part because they make online experiences easier.

This paper is a brief summary of the role that interactive characters can play in online automated teaching and commerce applications. The paper begins with a brief review of major conclusions from psychological research that has examined human responses to interactive technology. Subsequently, important benefits of interactive characters interfaces are reviewed as they apply to online learning and business.

Interactive Characters – The Major Points:

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Tom McDonald, tsm@centurytel.net; 608-788-5144; Skype: tsmw5752

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