Aging and engaging: A social conversational skills training program for older adults

Mohammad Rafayet Ali, Kimberly Van Orden, Kimberly Parkhurst, Shuyang Liu, Viet Duy Nguyen, Paul Duberstein, M. Ehsan Hoque

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

We developed "Aging and Engaging," a web-based intelligent interface, to improve communication skills among older adults. The interface allows users to practice conversations with a virtual assistant and receive feedback on eye contact, speaking volume, smiling, and valence of speech content. Feedback is generated automatically by analyzing the temporal properties of the conversation using the hidden Markov model. The interface was designed with the assistance of an expert advisory panel that works with geriatric patients, as well as a focus group of 12 older adults. To evaluate its effectiveness, we conducted a study with 25 older adults, each of whom participated in four conversations. Participants' response times to questions, as well as the amount of positive feedback, increased gradually through these interactions, as assessed by human judges. Participants found the feedback useful, easy to interpret, and fairly accurate, and expressed their interest in using the system at home. We plan to enroll subjects with difficulties in social communication; have them use the system over time at home in a randomized, controlled study; and measure any changes in their behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIUI 2018 - Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages55-66
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450349451
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 5 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event23rd ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, IUI 2018 - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: Mar 7 2018Mar 11 2018

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Proceedings IUI

Other

Other23rd ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, IUI 2018
CountryJapan
CityTokyo
Period3/7/183/11/18

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Social skills
  • Virtual agent

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