Creating an IVE – Part II: Personalities

In this blog series, we will show you how to create an intelligent virtual entity (IVE) that can monitor your social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter — and react to positive or negative posts about your products. To that end, we will need to set up the IVE and teach it to run a sentiment analysis on any social media post mentioning one of your products or brands.

In this part of the series, we will create a personality and apply it to an IVE.

The Big 5

The Big Five personality traits, also known as the five-factor model (FFM) or the OCEAN model, is a way of classifying personality traits. We use this model to define an IVE’s personality, its natural mood, and how it reacts to emotional triggers.

The five factors are:

  • Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
  • Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless)
  • Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved)
  • Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. challenging/detached)
  • Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident)

As stated above, the natural (or “default”) mood is derived from the five-factor model. If you want to create a personality that has a certain natural mood (e.g. “exuberant”), you can tweak the FFM factors and watch the IVE’s natural mood update in real-time until the result suits your needs.

Moods & Emotions

We visualize the IVE’s emotional state and how its moods change over time using a three-dimensional space, called the “Emotional Cube” or “PAD Space.” The three dimensions of the cube are called “Pleasure”, “Dominance and “Arousal” (hence PAD space).

These three factors can be combined in varying proportions to describe the following 35 emotions:  admiration, anger, boredom, curiosity, dignified, dislike, disappointment, distress, elation, fear, fears confirmed, gloating, gratification, gratitude, happy for, hate, hungry, hope, inhibited, joy, liking, love, being loved, pity, pride, puzzled, relief, remorse, reproach, resentment, satisfaction, shame, sleepy, unconcerned and violent.

Essentially, every emotion that exists in our simulation occupies a specific position within the emotional cube. Emotions are something that the IVE experiences in the short term. Over time, its emotions influence its basic personality to create moods.

You might have noticed that the cube has distinctly colored areas. These are the mood octants, which define the different moods an IVE can have: exuberant, dependent, relaxed, docile, bored, disdainful, anxious and hostile.

It takes time for the IVE’s emotions to influence its moods. The longer it experiences a certain kind of emotion, the further its mood will shift towards a different octant. At the point when IVE’s current mood crosses over to a different octant, for example from the “exuberant” octant to the “docile” octant, its mood will change.

Different moods can change the IVE’s behavior — but only if you choose to allow it. This can result in an IVE making different decisions than it normally would, or using a different tone of voice when chatting with a user.

Emotional Appraisal

Emotions are triggered either when the IVE perceives a change in its environment or when it executes an action. In both cases, an “appraisal” takes place, during which the IVE emotionally evaluates the change or the action it has taken.

Appraisals are made on the basis of the desirability of an event and the praiseworthiness of actions the IVE decides to take. While actions are appraised in terms of praiseworthiness, concepts are appraised in terms of desirability. For example, you could associate the action of liking a Facebook post with a positive emotion or assign a negative emotion to receiving a very angry Tweet.

Social Relationships

An IVE can create and maintain social relationships to other actors in the world that are either positive, neutral or negative. These are based on the emotional appraisals of their interactions.

In our example, an IVE might develop a positive association to a Facebook user who regularly expresses positive sentiments about our products while disliking a more negative person. How these social relations are leveraged is up to the designer of the IVE.