Traveller at Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion


Serious games have come quite some way. In their introduction to the first International Workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion on May 14, 2013, Schuller, Palettam, and Sabouret summarize:

Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion possess the
potential to change our society in a most positive way by
preparing selected groups in a playful and fun way for their
everyday life’s social and special situations. The current
generation of such games thereby increasingly demands for
computational intelligence algorithms to help analyze players’ behavior and monitor their motivation and interest to adapt  game progress. Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion (IDGEI) focus in particular on such games in connection with machine intelligence and its inclusion in digital serious games.


My colleagues and I from the eCUTE project are very thrilled to participate in the workshop, where we will describe Traveller, an intercultural training tool for young adults.

Traveller is based on an original theoretical
framework which focuses on key concepts of intercultural
training. By progressing through a creative story, users are able to engage via a novel interaction paradigm with intelligent virtual characters that incorporate different simulated cultures which can lead to misunderstandings and sometimes conflicts. Through the use of an innovative evaluation approach, users will gain a greater understanding of the behavioural differences between these
characters, and thereby learn to become more effective at dealing with misunderstandings due to differences in culture.

The contributions of the workshop will be published in open access proceedings with the Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games (SASDG), (see below – I will post a link when this becomes available). In the meanwhile you can learn more about TRAVELLER and see some video material on the eCUTE web page. We have spent almost 3 years developing TRAVELLER and a second application, MIXER in the pursuit of technology enhanced training in cultural understanding. A demonstration of TRAVELLER was also given this week at AAMAS 2013 (12th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA, May 6 – 10, 2013).


Degens, N., Hofstede, G. J., Mascarenhas, S., Silva, A., Paiva, A., Kistler, F., André, E. Swiderska, A., Krumhuber, E., Kappas, A., Hume, C., Hall, L., & Aylett, R. (2013). Traveller – Intercultural training with intelligent agents for young adults. Presented at the First International Workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion (IDGEI 2013) held in conjunction with the 8th Foundations of Digital Games 2013 (FDG), Chania, Greece, May 2013.

Schuller, B.,Paletta, L. & Sabouret, N. (Eds.)(2013) Proceedings 1st International Workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion (IDGEI 2013) held in conjunction with the 8th Foundations of Digital Games 2013 (FDG), Chania, Greece, May 2013. SASDG.


Artificial Emotions


Nautilus (Photo credit: Lebatihem)

Artificial Emotions

Today an intriguing new magazine saw the light of day: Nautilus.

Nautilus is a different kind of science magazine. We deliver big-picture science by reporting on a single monthly topic from multiple perspectives.

The first issue poses the question What makes you so special? It deals with what it might mean to be human — and how we might or might not be unique. One of the stories in the first issue deals with Artificial Emotions – As it happens, I had a long conversation with the author of the story, Neil Savage. Some of that ended up in the article, among many quotes by some of my colleagues, reflecting on issues central to affective computing. And this is why it fits wonderfully with the topic of this blog.


Nautilus (Photo credit: Guilli F P)

Every time I discuss issues of artificial emotions with people, regardless of whether they are scientists, represent the media, or others who are simply curious about affective computing, there are certain topics that tend to come up again and again. One of my goals is to raise some of these over the course of the next weeks in this blog. For example

  • that we might require much less emotion than we think to feel that machines are/feel emotional.
  • How psychological theories might be misleading efforts to make machines emotion-savvy.
  • How the concept of emotions as such might not always be very useful at all in this context.

In the meanwhile – check out Neil’s article, it is an interesting read .— and I will check out the rest of Nautilus in the meanwhile