Ana Paiva Associate Professor

INESC-ID and IST (Instituto Superior Tecnico) Tagus Park, Porto Salvo, Portugal

Since finishing my undergraduate studies in 1987 my chosen research areas have been Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents. With a special focus on applications of these areas, in MSc I gave special emphasis to the area of knowledge sharing and distribution in the context of an organization and intelligent buildings. In the PhD work, the main focus was on the dynamics of user models for interactive and intelligent applications, in particular for computer learning applications. When I returned to Portugal in 1996, after finishing my PhD, I decided to work primarily on intelligent agents for a new generation of human-computer interactions. More specifically I am currently responsible for a number of research projects on synthetic characters, affective interactions and emotion based architectures for intelligent agents. My group has developed a set of intelligent interactive environments, inhabited by synthetic characters, in particular Tristao and Isolda, Vincent and Teatrix.

Stories, Tangibles and Learning


Interactive storytelling is a new area of research, that combines the power of narratives and storytelling with information technologies, allowing viewers to become active participants in computer supported storytelling. Stories become dynamic and emerge in ways perhaps never before explored. This multi-disciplinary area is having more and more impact in the way we envisage the future of entertainment and also learning.

However, the participation of learners in these new storytelling environments may also involve them in the exploration of their senses and the use of their body for a participatory story building. As such, the physical environment of learners can be seen as part of the interface with the virtual world, and stories become a combination of shared worlds' experiences. Objects, and perhaps toys, in the real worlds can become gateways to the virtual narrative learning experiences. A learner can use a pen, which, in the virtual world, may turn out to be a fantastic and powerful wand. The reality of the physical world can be challenged, and somehow augmented with this new form of environments. Learning becomes situated in both the physical and virtual world.

In my talk I will present a vision where the new generation of learning environments will bring the learners a combination of real objects, stories and intelligent virtual worlds, yet still placing them at the centre.