Virtual Agents for Professional Social Skills Training: An Overview of the State-of-the-Art

  • Kim Bosman
  • Tibor BosseEmail author
  • Daniel Formolo
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 273)


Training of interpersonal communication skills is typically done using role play, by practising relevant scenarios with the help of professional actors. However, as a result of the rapid developments in human-computer interaction, there has been an increasing interest in the use of computers for training of social and communicative skills. This type of training offers opportunities to complement traditional training methods with a novel paradigm that is more scalable and cost-effective. The main idea of such applications is that of a simulated conversation between a human trainee and a virtual agent. By developing the system in such a way that the communicative behaviour of the human has a direct impact on the behaviour of the virtual agent, an interactive learning experience is created. In this article, we review the current state-of-the-art in virtual agents for social skills training. We provide an overview of existing applications, and discuss various properties of these applications.


Review Virtual agents Social skills training Serious games 



This research was supported by the Brazilian scholarship program Science without Borders - CNPq scholarship reference: 233883/2014-2.


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Behavioural Science InstituteRadboud UniversiteitNijmegenThe Netherlands

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