AS AN ANGEL

Acronym: 
As An Angel
Title: 
A Virtual Assistant for Cellular Phones Users and Internetauts
Type of Project: 
European
Funding Body: 
European Commission
Funding Programme: 
5th Framework Programme
Grant Agreement: 
FP5-IST-2000-29298
Start Date: 
01/10/2001
End Date: 
31/12/2002
Status: 
Ended
Role of ILC: 
Beneficiary
Project Chair: 
Antonio Zampolli

In recent years, a certain number of "virtual" creatures have started to populate the Internet and other networks, offering a range of services, from leisure to information search assistance to user-defined preferences filtering.

In very general terms, an assistant is a virtual character which essentially will help users accurately, efficiently and quickly find information over the Web.

The aim of AS AN ANGEL is to create a general-purpose conversational and customisable assistant for Internauts and cellular phone users.

The particular agent is based on the combination of three currently available technologies:

  • linguistic engineering and multi-agents programming;
  • 3D modelling and facial animation (including lips synchronization and the expression of emotions); body animation and behaviours (including bones animation for the web use);
  • voice synthesis and recognition.

The objective of the project is to create a multitask conversational assistant, with an anthropomorphic face and 3D animations of the character’s body that is able to dialogue in a natural way with its user in order to enable them to interact more effectively with the Internet and its environment: cellular phones, computers, organizers, televisions, smart houses, smart home devices, intelligent cars etc..

This particular version of a virtual agent is suitable to be applicable to a vast range of tasks: navigate users through the Web, help them surfing a given portal or filling in online forms and templates, support them in Web marketing promotion activities.

Conversational interaction allows users to naturally interact with the virtual character, which shows human-like behavior such as turn exchange, facial expressions, gestures and conventional body postures.