Subtle Expressivity For Characters And Robots

Call For CHI2003 Workshop on Subtle Expressivity For Characters And Robots

Humans, both consciously and unconsciously, use subtle expressions to communicate their emotions and intentions through variations of the gaze direction, pitch of speech and gesture speed. They form their own class of communication acts. Embodied characters, including robots, need to use subtle expressions to become believable communication partners.

The design and evaluation of subtle expressivity are challenges for designers and researchers of embodied characters. How do the subtle variations in expression influence the interaction? What types of subtle expressions are most important for the design of interactive media? How can the effect of the expressions be reliably measured?

The workshop aims to:

  • Provide a forum to discuss emerging issues in the design and evaluation of subtle expressivities and its applications.
  • Discuss the role of cognitive science and psychology in the use of subtle expressions in the design of interactive media.

We plan to cover the following topics:

  • Concepts, theories or guidelines for design of subtle expressions
  • Implementation methods for of subtle expressions
  • Measuring methods for the effects of subtle expressions.

Noriko Suzuki and Christoph Bartneck


Paolo Petta, Yasunori Morishima, Toru Takahashi, Yasuyuki Sumi, B.J. Fogg, Katherine Isbister, Helmut Predinger, Hideyuki Nakansishi, Jan Allbeck , Marc Swerts, Atsuchi Shimojima, Shigeo Morishima, Kiyoshi Kogure, Jacques Terken, Joel Chenu, Kazuhiko Shinozawa, Futoshi Naya, Toru Nakata, Kenji Mase and Akira Utsumi.


OPENING 09.15 – 09.30

  1. Karen K. Liu and Rosalind W. Picard: Subtle expressivity in a robotic computer
  2. Toru Nakata: Expression with informatical factor in human robot interaction

Coffee Break 10.30-11.00


  1. Timothy W. Bickmore and Rosalind W. Picard: Subtle expressivity by relational agents
  2. Toru Takahashi, Christoph Bartneck and Yasuhiro Katagiri: Show me what you mean – expressive media for online communities

Lunch 12.00 – 13.30
EMPIRICAL 13.30 – 14.30

  1. Yugo Takeuchi, Takuro Hada and Yasuhiro Katagiri: Effects of CG synthesized facial expressions on social attitude (not presenting)
  2. Scott Brave: User responses to emotion in embodied agents
  3. Aoju Chen and Carlos Gussenhoven: Language-dependence in the signalling of attitude in speech

THEORY/OPINION I 14.30-15.30

  1. Nigel Ward: On the expressive competencies needed for responsive systems
  2. Katherine Isbister: Social signals: using principles and methods from social psychology to guide subtle expression design

Coffee Break 15.30-16.00


  1. Dirk Heylen: Facial expressions for conversational agents
  2. John Cowell and Aladdin Ayesh: Automatic analysis of facial expressions: problems and solutions to data collection
  3. Thomas Erickson: Silence, murmurs and applause: reflections on expressions of collections

DISCUSSIONS 17.30-18.00
CLOSING 18.00 – 18.15


Noriko Suzuki
Media Information Laboratory, ATR
2-2-2 Hikaridai Seika Soraku
Kyoto 619-0288
+81-774-95-1421 (phone)
+81-774-95-1408 (fax)
Christoph Bartneck
Technical University of Eindhoven
Faculty of Industrial Design
Den Dolech 2
5600 MB Eindhoven
The Netherlands
+31 (0)40 247 5175 (phone)
+31 (0)40 247 5376 (fax)

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