Job: Post-doctoral position on “Modeling Virtual Coaches” project at Sorbonne University

Post-doctoral position – Modeling Virtual Coaches
Institute for Intelligent Systems and Robotics (ISIR) lab
Sorbonne University, Paris

There is a Post-doctoral position open at Sorbonne University in the Institute for Intelligent Systems and Robotics (ISIR) lab on modeling group of virtual coaches.

Location: ISIR – Sorbonne University, Jussieu, Paris
Starting data: Now
Ending date: 31 September 2020
Stipend; according to curriculum
Application: send a CV and names of reference to

Topic: Modeling Virtual Coaches

The European Horizon-2020 project Council of Coaches aims to develop a tool in which virtual embodied coaches form a team of experts that can discuss amongst themselves and with the user how the user could improve his healthy lifestyle behaviors. The project combines state of the art 3D Virtual Avatars with language and reasoning technology and applies this to the area of lifestyle and behavior change coaching.

The goal of research is to design, implement and evaluate user interaction with the team of virtual agents, the council of coaches (Home Interface) and one-on-one interaction with a single coach (Mobile Interface). In particular it focuses on

  1. Modelling coaches with their own specific agenda and behaviour style aiming at creating unique social relationships with users.
  2. Adapting virtual coaches’ behavior to ensure that user maintains her involvement in the relationship with the coaches.
  3. Integrating a backchannel model to ensure dynamic turn-taking and user’s engagement.

Specific attention will be given to the development of virtual coaches with a wide variety of behavioural characteristics and personality traits. Several studies have shown how low level features such as behaviour expressivity and high level characteristic (e.g. personality traits ) affect user’s involvement in their interaction with the virtual characters and impact his performances (McRorie et al., 2011) (Paiva et al., 2017)). The behavioural model will be based on data analysis from corpora collected within the project using machine learning approach.

The work in this research will make use of and build upon the GRETA/VIB platform developed at UPMC (Pecune et al., 2014) for multimodal behaviour generation and for visualizing virtual coaches.


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