Fourteenth International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2014)

Sunday, August 31st, 2014


North­eastern Uni­ver­sity last week con­vened an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary group of researchers for the 2014 Inter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Intel­li­gent Vir­tual Agents. The annual conference—which this year focused on health­care applications—is a leading sci­en­tific forum for pre­senting research on mod­eling, devel­oping, and eval­u­ating intel­li­gent vir­tual agents with a focus on com­mu­nica­tive abil­i­ties and social behavior.Intel­li­gent vir­tual agents, or IVAs, are inter­ac­tive char­ac­ters that exhibit human-​​like qual­i­ties such as real-​​time per­cep­tion, cog­ni­tion, and action, and they can com­mu­ni­cate with humans or with each other using nat­ural human modal­i­ties such as facial expres­sions, speech, and gesture.

This year’s con­fer­ence, held Aug. 27–29, drew more than 125 experts from 11 coun­tries. IVA 2014 was co-​​organized by North­eastern fac­ulty mem­bers Tim­othy Bick­more and Stacy Marsella. Marsella develops pro­grams that sim­u­late human emo­tion across a variety of appli­ca­tions. One of his pro­grams, Cere­bella, gives vir­tual humans the same ability to convey emo­tion through facial expres­sions and hand ges­tures as they com­mu­ni­cate with other virtual—or even real—humans.

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