This paper aims at considering novel and practical applications of ALife techniques to design a co-creative social dynamics in an online and virtual space, which is becoming important because of the recent emergence of various types of online communication platforms due to outbreaks of COVID-19. Recently, spatial and online communication services, such as SpatialChat, have attracted more attention. Each participant is represented as an avatar or icon in a virtual 2D space. She can move it around in the space and listen to neighbors’ voices of which volume become louder as they get closer to her. However, the overall structure of communications tends to be deadlocked, which might make participants lose chances to communicate with many other people. We design and investigate a virtual agent, called “facilitator agent,” as a study towards realization of practical agents that facilitate novel and cooperative interactions in a spatial and online communication by giving human participants opportunities to communicate with many others cooperatively. We adopt a Social Particle Swarm (SPS) model to simulate group dynamics in this type of communication service. We assume several behavioral patterns of a facilitator agent with fixed game-theoretical strategies and several movement strategies. We discuss how incorporating a single facilitator agent into the space can increase novel and cooperative interactions in several behavioral settings of the facilitator agent. We also report on a preliminary experiment on designing a facilitator agent using a deep reinforcement learning technique.

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