Research Output

Landscaping personification technologies: from interactions to relationships.

  Personification technologies are technologies that encourage people to anthropomorphize. These technologies try to get people to form relationships with them rather than simply interact with them. They may do this through having behaviours that encourage people to attribute personality or emotion to them. They may be persuasive technologies in the sense of Fogg that aim to get people to do things they would rather not do. They may promote trust. The convergence of a number of technologies is making personification technologies possible. Speech as an interaction is finally becoming robust and useable and is very influential in people attributing intelligence to devices and systems. Human language technologies allow devices to understand, or appear to understand, conversation. Interactions are becoming more natural and engaging. Avatars appear more congenial and coordinated.

Building on the experience of a previous project, and drawing on the experience of a four year multi-disciplinary project, called Companions, the authors are keen to build community relationships around the notion of personification technologies. This includes the design, engineering, research (including ethics and social issues) and usability communities.

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  • Library of Congress:

    QA76 Computer software

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    004 Data processing & computer science


Benyon, D. & Mival, O. (2007). Landscaping personification technologies: from interactions to relationships. In Proceedings of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, presented at CHI 2008, Florence, April 2008, 3657-3662. doi:10.1145/1358628.1358908. ISBN 978-1-60558-012-8



Personification technologies; affective interaction;human language technologies; designing forrelationships; multimodal interaction; Companions;

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