Improvising Linguistic Style: Social and Affective Bases of Agent Personality


Paper

The Improvisation of Linguistic Style: Social and Affective Bases for Agent Personality. Marilyn A. Walker, Janet Cahn and Stephen J. Whittaker. Proceedings of the ACM Agents '97 Conference. February, 1997. 10-17.     PDF (221K)


Approach

The original script, from Casablanca:

Laszlo and Ilsa enter the cafe.
Waiter: Yes, Monsieur?
Laszlo: I reserved a table. Victor Laszlo.
Waiter: Yes, Monsieur Laszlo, right this way.

Laszlo and Ilsa go to the table.
Laszlo: Two cointreaux, please.
Waiter: Yes, Monsieur.

For improvisation based on the original script, the script is represented as a plan, with both speech acts and domain plan representatons. Each character is given a strategy based on social variables (power differences, social distance) and an emotional disposition. The strategy is reflected in the text; the emotional disposition in the speech acoustics. See the paper for more detail.


Resulting sound & text as generated by the LSI and Affect Editor programs.


(1) Waiter: Approval-oriented, Pleasant.
Laszlo: Direct, Angry.
Waiter: Could I help you?
Laszlo: Take us to a table right away. I am Victor Laszlo.
Waiter: It's a pleasure.
Laszlo: Bring us two cointreaux right away.
Waiter: I'd be glad to.
.WAV (418K)
(2) Waiter: Approval-oriented, Pleasant.
Laszlo: Approval-oriented, Disgusted.
Waiter: Could I help you?
Laszlo: Can you take us to a table? As you may know I am Victor Laszlo.
Waiter: It's a pleasure.
Laszlo: You wouldn't want to bring us two cointreaux, would you?
Waiter: I'd be glad to.
.WAV (562K)
(3) Waiter: Direct, Pleasant.
Laszlo: Autonomy-oriented, Distraught.
Waiter: I will help you.
Laszlo: Can you take us to a table? As you may know I am Victor Laszlo
Waiter: Yes if you insist.
Laszlo: You wouldn't want to bring us two cointreaux, would you?
Waiter: If I must.
.WAV (587K)
(4) Waiter: Direct, Angry.
Laszlo: Direct, Disgusted.
Waiter: I will help you.
Laszlo: Take us to a table right away. I am Victor Laszlo.
Waiter: Yes if you insist.
Laszlo: Bring us two cointreaux right away.
Waiter: If I must.
.WAV (565K)
(5) Waiter: approval-oriented, pleasant.
Laszlo: direct, annoyed.
Waiter: Do you desire that I will help you?
Laszlo: I hereby order you to take us to a table. You see I am Victor Laszlo.
Waiter: I'd be glad to.
Laszlo: You must bring us two cointreaux.
Waiter: With pleasure.
.WAV (482K)
(6) Waiter: approval-oriented, gruff.
Laszlo: off-record, distraught.
Waiter: Please, if you wouldn't mind, I will help you.
Laszlo: Did I reserve a table? It seems I am Victor Lazlo.
Waiter: No problem.
Laszlo: We do not have two cointreaux.
Waiter: No problem.
.WAV (769K)