2020-02981 - The role of rapport in human-conversational agent interaction:Modeling conversation to improve task performance in human-agent Interaction

2020-02981 - The role of rapport in human-conversational agent interaction:Modeling conversation to improve task performance in human-agent Interaction

France 31 Mar 2021


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State University
Host Country
31 Mar 2021
Study level
Opportunity type
Opportunity funding
Full funding
Eligible Countries
This opportunity is destined for all countries
Eligible Region
All Regions

Contract type : Fixed-term contract

Renewable contract : Oui

Level of qualifications required : Graduate degree or equivalent

Fonction : Temporary scientific engineer


The objective of this project is to build embodied conversational agents (also known as ECAs, or virtual humans, chatbots, or multimodal dialogue systems) that have the ability to engage their users using language and nonverbal behavior, both social and task talk, where the social talk serves to improve task performance. In order to achieve this objective, we model human-human conversation, and integrate the models into ECAs, and then evaluate their performance.

The engineer chosen for this project will work with a strong multidisciplinary team of doctoral students, postdocs, and other researchers, to develop a state of the art Embodied Conversational Agent system that can engage with people. It will be demonstrated on a large screen at Inria (and perhaps in other venues), and also used for human-computer interaction experiments on the web and on mobile devices. 

Inria offers a supportive environment for engineers, as they are located in a particular research group, but also benefit from the support of the entire group of engineers at Inria Paris who carry out research and development. 



Technical Skills:  Solid competence in deep learning applied to dialogue systems, advanced competence in programming in language such as Python and C++, and use of tools such as Tensorflow and Pytorch.

Languages: French, English

Relational Skills: ability to work in a team, and collaborate with others from different disciplines and backgrounds. Ability to manage other team members.

Benefits package


Salary will be based on experience and will follow the Inria salary scales.

The position is planned for a total of 3 years, but the contract will be signed for renewable periods of one year.



General Information


The keys to success

The successful candidate should have a passion for cutting edge and interdisciplinary research at the nexus of AI and Social Sciences, the desire and ability to work as part of a diverse team, and to manage interns and other more junior group members.

About Inria

Inria is the French national research institute dedicated to digital science and technology. It employs 2,600 people. Its 200 agile project teams, generally run jointly with academic partners, include more than 3,500 scientists and engineers working to meet the challenges of digital technology, often at the interface with other disciplines. The Institute also employs numerous talents in over forty different professions. 900 research support staff contribute to the preparation and development of scientific and entrepreneurial projects that have a worldwide impact.

Instruction to apply

Defence Security :
This position is likely to be situated in a restricted area (ZRR), as defined in Decree No. 2011-1425 relating to the protection of national scientific and technical potential (PPST).Authorisation to enter an area is granted by the director of the unit, following a favourable Ministerial decision, as defined in the decree of 3 July 2012 relating to the PPST. An unfavourable Ministerial decision in respect of a position situated in a ZRR would result in the cancellation of the appointment.

Recruitment Policy :
As part of its diversity policy, all Inria positions are accessible to people with disabilities.

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