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The CaMeLi Framework—A Multimodal Virtual Companion for Older Adults

  • Christiana Tsiourti
  • João Quintas
  • Maher Ben-Moussa
  • Sten Hanke
  • Niels Alexander Nijdam
  • Dimitri Konstantas
Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 751)

Abstract

Artificial Social Companions are a promising solution for the increasing challenges in elderly care. This chapter describes the CaMeLi autonomous conversational agent system which simulates human-like affective behaviour and acts as a companion for older adults living alone at home. The agent employs synthetic speech, gaze, facial expressions, and gestures to support multimodal natural interaction with its users and assists them in a number of daily life scenarios.We present the agent’s overall architecture, with a focus on the perception, decision making and synthesis components which give rise to the agent’s intelligent affective behavior. The agent was evaluated in an exploratory study where it was introduced in 20 homes of older adults (aged 65+) in three European countries (Switzerland, the Netherlands, Portugal) for a total duration of 12 weeks. We present the results of the evaluation study with regards to acceptance, perceived usability, and usefulness of the agent, and discuss future opportunities for fellow researchers who are striving to bring virtual agents out of the laboratories into successful real world applications.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the European research projects CaMeLi (Grant No. 010000-2012-16), Miraculous Life (Grant No. 616421), Vizier (Grant No. AAL-2015-2-145), GrowMeUp (Grant No. 643647) and GEO-SAFE (Grant No. 691161). We express our gratitude to all the study participants and to all the project partners, including SIEMENS AG and Noldus IT who led the design of CaMeLi’s GUI and the end-users VIVA and Zuyderland who performed tremendous work in supporting the user studies and trials.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christiana Tsiourti
    • 1
  • João Quintas
    • 2
  • Maher Ben-Moussa
    • 1
  • Sten Hanke
    • 3
  • Niels Alexander Nijdam
    • 1
  • Dimitri Konstantas
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Instituto Pedro NunesCoimbraPortugal
  3. 3.Austrian Institue of TechnologyViennaAustria

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