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We describe a series of experiments with an agent designed to model human conversational touch-capable of physically touching users in synchrony with speech and other nonverbal communicative behavior-and its use in expressing empathy to users in distress. The agent is composed of an animated human face that is displayed on a monitor affixed to the top of a(More)
Older adults with strong social connections are at a reduced risk for health problems and mortality. We describe two field studies to inform the development of a virtual agent designed to provide long-term, continuous social support to isolated older adults. Findings include the topics that older adults would like to discuss with a companion agent, in(More)
Loneliness and social isolation are significant problems in older adult populations. We describe the design of a multimodal conversational agent-based system designed to provide longitudinal social support to isolated older adults. Results from a requirements analysis study and a remote “Wizard-of-Oz” study are presented that inform the design of the(More)
— Loneliness and social isolation are significant problems in older adult populations. We describe a conversational agent-based system designed to provide longitudinal social support to isolated older adults. Results from an exploratory pilot study indicate that when the agent proactively draws elders into interactions, it is more effective at addressing(More)
Loneliness and social isolation are significant problems in older adult populations. We describe a conversational agent-based system designed to provide longitudinal social support to isolated older adults. Results from an exploratory pilot study indicate that when the agent proactively draws elders into interactions, it is more effective at addressing(More)
In this paper we describe a prototype of a serious game designed to improve hospital patients' confidence in managing their hospital stay. We present findings of an evaluation of our visual novel computer game by comparing it with traditional approaches to increasing patient empowerment and patient self-efficacy. The results indicated a significant effect(More)
PURPOSE The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have endorsed the concept of preconception care (PCC). New tools must be developed to promote PCC. DESIGN Development and testing of a health information technology system to provide PCC. SETTING An urban safety net hospital and an urban university. SUBJECTS Community recruitment of 31 women in(More)
We describe a design study in which five different tools are compared for end-user authoring of personal stories to be told by an embodied conversational agent. The tools provide varying degrees of control over the agent's verbal and nonverbal behavior. Results indicate that users are more satisfied when their stories are delivered by a virtual agent(More)
We summarize the status of an ongoing project to develop and evaluate a companion for isolated older adults. Four key scientific issues in the project are: embodiment , interaction paradigm, engagement and relationship. The system architecture is extensible and handles real-time behaviors. The system supports multiple activities, including discussing the(More)