gaips_bea image1 image2 image3 image4 image5 gaips_ecute_beach_bar_banner gaips_ecute_train_incorrect_ticket_banner
eCute Webpage icon

Collaborators: Samuel Mascarenhas, Rui Figueiredo, Ana Paiva, Rui Prada, Nuno Ferreira, João Dias
Keywords: culture, virtual learning environments


In the Europe of the 21st century, many cultural, ethnic and religious groups must live and work together. It is clear that this is not always a smooth process and that cultural differences can lead to social stresses and sometimes outright conflict. Education in cultural sensitivity and understanding has a very significant role as a component of Personal, Social and Emotional Education. This is an educational domain in which attitudes and behaviours are much more important than knowledge alone, and in which the development of empathy is a key pedagogical mechanism. Experiential approaches using role-play and case-studies have been shown to be highly effective for social, personal and emotional learning, but can be difficult and expensive to organise if actors or other human interaction mechanisms are employed, or limited by a lack of interactivity in the case of film or written case-studies.

eCUTE will develop innovative technologically-enhanced learning approaches in cultural understanding and sensitivity that will help to deal with these problems. It will develop and apply virtual world simulations with intelligent interactive graphical characters embodying models of culturally-specific behaviour and interaction in scenarios developed via a user-centred design process. It will target two end-user types – late primary-age children (9-11) and young adults (18-25) – as contrasting groups over which useful generalisations can be developed.

The project will:

* Develop pedagogical approaches to education in cultural understanding grounded in psychological and educational theory

* Create believable cultural learning scenarios based on theoretical approaches that connect with the experiences of the target learner groups

* To establish an operational parameterisation of theoretically derived cultural behaviour and use it to create synthetic cultures and characters that behave as if they live within such cultures

* Develop expressive behaviour for synthetic characters that is culturally appropriate

* Create two cultural Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), one for late-primary children and the other for young adults based on virtual dramas using synthetic characters with culturally-specific interaction behaviour

* Evaluate the created systems with stakeholder, teacher and learner groups, demonstrating the learning efficacy of the  showcases with the intention of leveraging further funding and commercial opportunities.


Learning to Overcome Cultural Conflict through Engaging with Intelligent Agents in Synthetic Cultures
pdf iconbib icon
Lynne Hall and Sarah Tazzyman and Colette Hume and Birgit Endrass and Mei-Yii Lim and GertJan Hofstede and Ana Paiva and Elisabeth Andre and Arvid Kappas and Ruth Aylett, International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, Vol. 25, No. 1, pg. 291-317, Springer, May, 2015
Modeling culture in intelligent virtual agents - From theory to implementation
pdf iconbib icon
Samuel Mascarenhas and Nick Degens and Ana Paiva and Rui Prada and Gert Jan Hofstede and Adrie Beulens and Ruth Aylett, Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, pg. 1--32, Springer, October, 2015
Can I ask you a favour? A Relational Model of Socio-Cultural Behaviour (Extended Abstract)
pdf iconbib icon
Samuel Mascarenhas and Rui Prada and Ana Paiva and Nick Degens and Gert Jan Hofstede, Proceedings of the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS). IFAAMAS/ACM DL, 2013
Lie to Me: Virtual Agents that Lie
pdf iconbib icon
João Dias, Proceedings of the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS)., IFAAMAS/ACM DL, St. Paul, USA, May, 2013
Social importance dynamics: A model for culturally-adaptive agents
pdf iconbib icon
Samuel Mascarenhas and Rui Prada and Ana Paiva
The Great Deceivers: Virtual Agents and Believable Lies
pdf iconbib icon
João Dias and Ruth Aylett and Ana Paiva, CogSci 2013- The annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, pg. 2189-2194, August, 2013
Traveller: An Intercultural Training System with Intelligent Agents (Demonstration)
pdf iconbib icon
Samuel Mascarenhas and André Silva and Ana Paiva and Ruth Aylett and Felix Kistler and Elisabeth André and Nick Degens and Gert Jan Hofstede, Proceedings of the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems., IFAAMAS/ACM DL, 2013
Games based learning for Exploring Cultural Conflict
bib icon
L. Hall and S Luft and Asad Nazir and John Hodgson and Michael Hall and Cristopher Ritter and S. Jones and Samuel Mascarenhas and B. Cooper and Ana Paiva and Ruth Aylett, AISB Symposium: AI & Games, pg. 6-7, York, 2011
“How should I say this ?” Agents with culturally-appropriate verbal communication styles
pdf iconbib icon
Samuel Mascarenhas and Ana Paiva and Nick Degens and John Mcbreen and Gert-jan Hofstede, Workshop on Culturally Motivated Characters at the 11th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA), pg. 1-10, Springer, Reykjav\'{\i}k, Iceland, 2011
A Dimensional Model for Cultural Behaviour in Virtual Agents
pdf iconbib icon
Samuel Mascarenhas and João Dias and Rui Prada and Ana Paiva, Applied Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 24, No. 6, pg. 552-574, 2010