Interactive characters for cultural training of small military units

TitleInteractive characters for cultural training of small military units
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2011
AuthorsAggarwal, P., K. Feeley, F. Morbini, R. Artstein, A. Leuski, D. R. Traum, and J. Kim
Conference Name11th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents
Date PublishedSeptember 2011
Conference LocationReykjavík, Iceland

CHAOS, the Combat Hunter Action and Observation Simulation, is an immer-
sive simulation training environment which gives small military units the expe-
rience of interacting with local Afghan villagers during a patrol. It is a physical
build-out of a housing compound in a mock Afghan village, with several life-
size reactive and interactive animated Pashto-speaking virtual characters. The
exercise requires an infantry squad to locate and interview a character named
Omar, communicating through a live human interpreter and attending to proper
protocol regarding Omar's family. Character animation and behavior is based
on extensive interviews with Afghan experts to provide a realistic setting of
the intended locale. The system combines virtual human technology, story engi-
neering, and physical set building to provide a compelling training environment
that can handle a full squad, requiring trainees to integrate tasks such as working
with an interpreter, dealing with non-English speakers from another culture, and
assessing information and disposition to make decisions in a mission context.