Mariët Theune is an Assistant Professor in the Human-Media Interaction group at the University of Twente. Her research interests lie in the areas of natural language processing and generation, with applications in the communication between people and virtual humans or robots, digital humanities, interactive storytelling and serious games. The main aim of her research is to develop technology that can interact with people using human language as well as appropriate nonverbal behaviour. Her current projects focus on the question how we can automatically generate language (either text or dialogue) in different styles and in an adaptive fashion.
Before joining HMI as a postdoctoral researcher in 2001, she studied linguistics/computational linguistics at the University of Utrecht (1995), and completed a PhD degree in natural language generation at the Eindhoven University of Technology (2000). In 2003, she obtained a personal research grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to investigate the joint generation of language and gesture by embodied conversational agents, and she was appointed Assistant Professor at HMI.
Since then she has been involved in various national research projects such as GATE (Gaming Research for Training and Entertainment) and the COMMIT project Interaction for Universal Access, working on intelligent agents in the context of storytelling and serious games. In the field of language technology, she has been a local project leader in the NWO CATCH project FACT (Folktales as Classifiable Texts) in collaboration with the Meertens Institute, and the IMOGEN project (Interactive Multimodal Output Generation) in the NWO IMIX programme. Currently she is involved in the EU project ARIA VALUSPA on virtual characters capable of multi-modal social interaction; the ALP project on affective language generation (together with Tilburg University); and as a project leader in the Data2Game project on adaptive and personalized serious games.