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Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH

Saarbrücken, Germany

The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) today is one of the largest nonprofit contract research institutes in the field of innovative software technology based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods. DFKI is focusing on the complete cycle of innovation - from world-class basic research and technology development through leading-edge demonstrators and prototypes to product functions and commercialization. DFKI has more than 180 full-time employees, including 145 research scientists with advanced degrees, as well as around 140 part-time research assistants. DFKI has long-standing experience in several aspects of human-machine interaction research, including emotional speech synthesis (EU projects NECA, SAFIRA), emotional behaviour modelling (MagiCster), multimodal interaction with virtual avatars (Smartkom, Virtual Human), and interface evaluation (COLLATE Evaluation Center). This experience is matched by ambitious research roadmaps in the Language Technology Lab, headed by Prof. Hans Uszkoreit, and the Intelligent User Interfaces Lab, headed by Prof. Wolfgang Wahlster.

Dr. Marc Schröder is a Senior Researcher at DFKI's Language Technology Lab. He graduated in speech science in Grenoble (France) in 1998, and wrote his Ph.D. in phonetics at Saarland University. The subject of his thesis is speech and emotion research and its application in speech synthesis. In 2000, he worked with Roddy Cowie in Belfast in the PHYSTA project; since 2001, he has been responsible at DFKI for the use of emotional speech synthesis with conversational agents in the NECA project. He was a co-organiser of the ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Speech and Emotion in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, in September 2000. Marc Schröder has published various articles related to different aspects of emotional speech and speech synthesis, see Marc Schröder's Homepage.

Dr. Thomas Rist is a Senior Researcher and Project Leader at the Intelligent User Interfaces lab of DFKI. He received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of the Saarland. Since 1989, Thomas Rist has been involved in various projects funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research, the European Union, and industries. Recent projects dealing with emotions in conversational agent systems include IST-NECA, FET-MagiCster, and the BMBF-funded projects AIA and Virtual Human. Thomas Rist has authored and co-authored various publications on animated interface agents and conversational characters, and has been involved in the organisation and reviewing committees of various converences and workshops in the area. For details see Thomas Rist's Homepage.

Prof. Hans Uszkoreit is Scientific Director and Head of the Language Technology Lab at DFKI. He is also Professor of Computational Linguistics and Computer Science and Chairman of the Computational Linguistics Department at Saarland University. He received his PhD in 1984 from the U. of Texas at Austin. Together with W. Wahlster he heads the German National Competence Center for Language Technology and is co-founder and Vice-Chair in the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) Resource-adaptive Cognitive Systems. His research interests focus on models of language processing including the contribution of emotional expressivity to the interpretation of ambiguous text structures.

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