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Perceptive Animated Interfaces: A New Generation of Interactive Learning Tools

About this event

Lecturer: Dr. Ron Cole, Director of the Center for Spoken Language Research at the University of Colorado - Boulder

Advances in human communication technologies are leading to a new generation of learning tools that engage students in natural face-to-face conversations with animated characters that behave like sensitive and effective teachers. These perceptive animated interfaces combine several emerging technologies-spoken dialogue interaction, language understanding, computer vision and character animation-to interpret student behaviors (mouse clicks, typed and spoken responses, facial expressions, gaze, hand and body gestures) and to infer the students state of knowledge and cognitive state. The system uses this information in learning tasks to enable the animated character to respond to the student in real time using speech, facial expressions, head and eye movements and hand and body gestures. At the University of Colorado, research and development of perceptive animated interfaces occurs in the context of the Colorado Literacy Tutor, a comprehensive literacy program designed to improve reading and comprehension of text.

My presentation will present the vision of perceptive animated interfaces; demonstrate literacy tutors currently deployed in first grade classrooms that use perceptive animated agents to teach foundational reading skills, fluent reading and comprehension of text; provide demonstrations of emerging technologies leading to the next generation of animated agents; and discuss key research challenges for the future.

About the Speaker:
Ron Cole is a Research Professor at the University of Colorado. He has studied speech recognition by human and machine for the past thirty years, and has published over 150 articles in scientific journals and published conference proceedings. In 1990, Ron founded the Center for Spoken Language Understanding (CSLU) at the Oregon Graduate Institute. In 1998, Ron founded the Center for Spoken Language Research (CSLR) at the University of Colorado, Boulder with Wayne Ward, John Hansen and Dan Jurafsky. Rons goals are to advance interactive language technologies and systems through basic research; to incorporate research advances into systems that facilitate learning and information access; and to make language resources accessible to all, so that students and educators worldwide can participate in developing new technologies and applications. Ron is also a passionate advocate of international collaboration in computer science. He has organized ten workshops designed to stimulate and sustain international cooperation to advance science and technology and solve global problems.