The goal of CHROME team is to define a methodology of collecting, analysing and modelling multimodal data in designing virtual agents serving in museums. Virtual agents’ behaviour will be, therefore, inspired by that of expert guides, museum curators and tour operators, concerning postural, gestural and prosodic aspects of the way contents must be communicated. These gatekeepers are those professional figures possessing a significant amount of knowledge on how people should be guided in the exploration of cultural contents. acting as mediators between cultural heritage and visitors. To bring to fulfilment of the proposed project, our team is going to work on different aspects involved in this domain-specific communicative service.
After having defined guidelines to collect data, a multimodal corpus of human-human interactions in the cultural heritage domain will be collected and analysed, as far as gestures, prosodic and orality aspects are concerned. Semantic and textual features adopted to construct the knowledge base will be extracted according to linguistic and computational models of analysis.
The virtual agent itself will be designed on the basis of the annotated data stored in the gatekeeper computational model. 3D models of the explored contents will be annotated by architects and computer scientists to navigate them virtually in supporting oral descriptions.
The team is highly interdisciplinary and is formed by linguists (with specific competences in prosody, pragmatics, paralinguistics, non-verbal behaviour analysis), computational linguists and computer scientists (with skills in Artificial Intelligence and Human Machine Interaction). Objectives and tasks will be balanced across different competences and pursued in a strongly collaborative framework.
The final evaluation will consider the naturalness of the produced artificial agents and the impact of the research will be measured in terms of the influence on the number of visitors attracted in the chosen reference sites: The Charterhouses in Campania. These fall under the scientific supervision of the Polo Museale della Campania, taking part into the project as a sub-unit. Commercial applications also represent a desirable goal.