7th International Conference on
Intelligent Virtual Agents

IVA 2007


Invited Talk - Luc Steels: How Robots May Evolve Their Own Language, 11:00-12:00

University of Brussels (VUB) and Sony Computer Science Laboratory Paris
Human language and natural dialogue are not based on a set of static conventions. Human languages and interaction patterns evolve, because humans must constantly invent, adapt, and mold their communication systems and conceptualisations of the world in order to cope with an open-ended set of tasks and environments that can often not be constrained or entirely known in advance. Is it possible to endow robots with the necessary cognitive mechanisms and interaction scripts that they would have the same capacities for open-ended communication? In other words, is it possible that robots can be programmed to participate in the creative invention and adaptation of their interfaces with humans or other robots?
This talk surveys research that is exploring this approach. We show that some of the fundamental problems for self-organised emergent communication have been solved and validated through experiments with physical robots.


Invited Talk - Sotaro Kita: Gesture and culture, 10:45-11:45

University of Birmingham
Gestures are an essential part of our everyday communicative practice. As far as we know, gestures are used in communication in all cultures. It has also been noted that gestural practice varies considerably across cultures. For example, it is well known that the convention for form-function mapping in so called emblematic gestures (such as an OK sign) vary cross-culturally. In this presentation, I aim to demonstrate that crosscultural variation of gesture goes far beyond differences in conventionalized emblematic gestures. More specifically I will provide results from three studies demonstrating that gestures vary crossculturally because language, cognition, and values associated with different communicative behaviors vary crossculturally.


Invited Talk - Drifa Benseghir: 3D animator : Using computer to create life, 10:45-11:45

20 years ago, there were only a handful of companies using the technique known as CGI : Computer Generated Imagery.
Nowdays, almost all the industries which images (feature films, TV series, music video, video games, commercials...) are adding those types of technology in their products, and the 3D animated features became a huge industry after the successful films by companies like Pixar Animation studio.
But because this technology is new and involves using computers and complex programs, most people tend to think that it's the computer that "makes" everything, pushing aside the importance of the artist, who is actually more the master of the computer. The programs that are used to create 3D animation are a tool just like a pencil for traditional animation.
By going throught the process of creation of a 3D keyframe animation, we will try to show how important the "art of animation"is; this magic ingredient that brings the "illusion of life".
It is actually a real challenge for the animator to make the audience believe that the characters they are seeing on screen are alive, that they have feelings, emotions.... just like humans, or animals do. We'll see how the animator brings the character to life using tricks just as an illusionist will do to convince his audience that what they have in front of them is real. This art of illusion combined with the powerful tools of the computers makes 3D animation a wonderful universe in which any artist can express his or her creativity.
Hosted by the National Technical University of Athens.