Abstract: Social relations are based on emotional responses whether in face-to-face communication between human beings or even other types of communication between humans and virtual companions. The emergence of virtual companions and the establishment of long term relationships with humans raise the question of the importance of emotion in this process. Emotion enables the development of a more believable relationship with a virtual companion, considering that this is the only way humans can perceive the virtual companion´s emotional state and intentions.
The most immediate way of expressing emotion and communicating is through our body, mainly facial expressions, body gestures and speech. They assure a more natural interaction between humans and virtual companions. Facial expressions are a key element in non-verbal communication and therefore it is our objective to understand how they can engage both humans and companions.
In this paper we aim to present a model, being developed in LIREC project, for expressing emotions through facial expression and to present an architecture proposal for the development of the virtual companion´s mind based on the FLAME model, Fuzzy Logic Model Of Emotions. It is our goal to show how emotions can induce long-term relationships with virtual companions and which the implications are, as well as how this relates to the companion´s mind model expressed through the companion´s actions.
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