Expression Terminology

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  • Keepalive
    • Breathing, blinking and slight head movements to show life
  • Reflex
    • an involuntary and nearly instantaneous movement in response to a stimulus (like a flinch)
  • Microexpression
    • A brief, involuntary facial expression shown on the face of humans according to emotions experienced (such as a brow furrow)
    • NOT to be confused with a micronarrative
  • Gesture
    • A movement of part of the body, especially a hand or the head, to express an idea or meaning -- whether consciously or unconsciously
  • Expression
    • A complex statement or look to make one's thoughts known -- whether consciously or unconsciously
  • Micronarrative
    • A sequence of reflex, microexpression, gesture and expression events that combined form a dynamic, nuanced response to a stimulus which may or may not (depending on the narrative) include both subconscious and deliberate reactions
    • NOT to be confused with a microexpressionthe
  • Narrative
    • Any sequence of connected events (i.e. a story)
  • Interaction
    • A series of Micronarratives that come in response to realtime user inputs (for example, a conversation)
    • An emerging narrative
  • Performance
    • A series of Micronarratives that come in response to a hand-crafted script
    • A predetermined narrative


We can think of how this turns into animation control like a software layer stack

  • LAYER ZERO: Keepalive
    • Is basically fully autonomous simple activity, like kernel-level activity
    • in humans they are controlled by the autonomic nervous system and one must train and exert in order to override them
    • Stimuli can cause modulation of the activity but the activity happens whether or not there are direct stimuli modulating it
    • With training a human can, usually with much effort, control this modulation and override some of the activity -- and our performance scripts / behavior networks should be able to override these, but doing so should be clear and deliberate
  • LAYER ONE: Reflexes and Microexpressions
    • are automatic and simple, but happen in direct response to stimuli (internal or external), like low-level input processing
    • These can also be overridden, with great effort
  • LAYER TWO: Gestures and Expressions
    • are more complex activity, in direct response to stimuli (internal or external), whether consciously or unconsciously triggered
    • the difference between the two really being their levels of complexity, both being singular responses to input, but expressions being more complex and longer duration
  • LAYER THREE: Micronarratives
    • are responsive chains (i.e. not singular gestures or expressions) of reflexes, microexpressions, gestures and expressions, which occur due to consideration of input stimuli and motivated response, like a complex action at the application level
  • LAYER FOUR: Performances
    • are scripts that override the normal, automatic functioning of the system with deliberate, controlled fictionalization of emotions
    • human actors do this through training and willpower, Sophia will do it via performance scripts that have the ability to turn off some or all of the automatic activity