CRITICAL ESSAY: THE AVATAR X PRIZE.
To reflect on the key concepts introduced in the course, to discuss the application of theories of human interaction and evidence from studies of human interaction to the design of new technologies to support human-human interaction.
The ANA Avatar X Prize is offering $10M to teams to create an avatar system that “can transport human presence to a remote location in real time”. They envisage a number of scenarios such as providing care, disaster relief and multipurpose utility and specify that the system must be able to see, hear, touch and interact. 77 teams are competing and the winners will be announced in June 2022.
Imagine you have been appointed to the panel of judges as an expert on human-human interaction. Your task is to devise three interaction challenges that you will use to test how well the Avatars have been engineered for human interaction.
For each interaction challenge you should:
Specify a simple interaction scenario that probes whether the Avatar has the fundamental capabilities needed to participate in natural face-to-face interaction.
Using the research literature on natural human interaction explain why you have chosen the particular challenge and how you have constructed the interaction scenario as a means of testing that capability.
Provide a clear description of the criteria you will use to judge how well each system performs and explain how you will ‘score’ performance – i.e. how will you measure success in a way that can fairly compare the performance of 77 different systems.
The three challenges you create can overlap to some degree but they should aim to test different clusters of key interactional capabilities – both verbal and non-verbal. You should assume that the avatar systems have state-of-the-art vision, hearing and touch systems, your task is only to test their ability to engage in natural interaction.
Once you have set your challenge review the information about the teams who are competing for the ANA Avatar X-Prize and make a prediction about which one is most likely to succeed. Give a brief justification for your choice.
The report will consist of an extended essay with a 2000 word limit. Images, tables and graphs are encouraged if they help you to explain your proposals and provide evidence for their suitability as an interaction challenge.
The quality of the presentation including: layout, structure, clarity of argument, use of citations and referencing.
The quality of the evidence used to support each challenge. The best evidence comes from published, referred work (typically journals and conferences) that have been peer reviewed. The weakest evidence comes from personal anecdotes.
The quality of the challenges set. Are they clear, exciting, demanding, fair, measureable, robust, repeatable etcetera.