Welcome to our VISAGE Laboratory website!

Virtual Intelligent Social AGEnts (VISAGE) are human-like digital artifacts that can interact with humans via  natural communication channels such as facial expressions, body language, among other social cues.

They are also known as Embodied Conversational Agents when they can converse with users, and are emerging as a new paradigm for human-computer interaction.  Unlike avatars (that represent and are controlled by users, as in computer games), virtual intelligent social agents have agency enabling them to interact with their users autonomously.


Our long-term research goal is to create engaging, virtual interactive social agents that can help humans in a variety of contexts by interacting with them in innovative ways, through natural expressive multi-modal interaction. 

We conduct basic research at the intersection of the fields of human-computer interaction (HC)affective computing, human-centered artificial intelligence (AI), and virtual reality (VR) to discover design principles for VISAGEs.

We then use these design principles to conduct applied research by building VISAGEs that can help humans in the variety of roles and domains where good social communication is of the essence, such as: