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Synthetic characters are an effective modality to convey messages to the user, provide visual feedback about the system internal understanding of the communication, and engage the user in the dialogue through emotional involvement. In this paper we argue for a fine-grain distinction of the expressive capabilities of synthetic agents: avatars should not be considered as an indivisible modality but as the synergic contribution of different communication channels that, properly synchronized,doi:10.1145/1088463.1088499 dblp:conf/icmi/NotBPZ05 fatcat:dkbwy5jxxzhzvebfhfilhyj2w4