Linguistic Style Improvisation for Lifelike Computer Characters

Marilyn A. Walker, Janet E. Cahn, and Stephen J. Whittaker

This paper introduces Linguistic Style Improvisation, a theory and algorithms for improvisation of spoken utterances by artificial agents, with applications to interactive story and dialogue systems. We argue that linguistic style is a key aspect of character, and show how speech act representations common in AI can provide abstract representations from which computer characters can improvise. We show that the mechanisms proposed introduce the possibility of socially oriented agents, meet the requirements that lifelike characters be believable, and satisfy particular criteria for improvisation proposed by Hayes-Roth.

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