Advertisement

Virtual Agents as Daily Assistants for Elderly or Cognitively Impaired People

Studies on Acceptance and Interaction Feasibility
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8108)

Abstract

People with cognitive impairments have problems organizing their daily life autonomously. A virtual agent as daily calendar assistant could provide valuable support, but this requires that these special user groups accept such a system and can interact with it successfully. In this paper we present studies to elucidate these questions for elderly users as well as cognitively impaired users. Results from interviews and focus groups show that acceptance can be increased by way of a participatory design method. Actual interaction studies with a prototype demonstrate the feasibility of spoken-language interaction and reveal strategies to mitigate understanding problems.

Keywords

Assistive technology Virtual assistants Participatory design Spoken dialogue robustness 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR, 4th edn. American Psychiatric Publ., Arlington (2000)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Beskow, J., Edlund, J., Granström, B., Gustafson, J., Skantze, G., Tobiasson, H.: The MonAMI Reminder: a spoken dialogue system for face-to-face interaction. In: Proceedings of the 10th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH 2009, pp. 300–303 (2009)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fager, S.K., Beukelman, D.R., Jakobs, T., Hosom, J.-P.: Evaluation of a Speech Recognition Prototype for Speakers with Moderate and Severe Dysarthria: A Preliminary Report. Augmentative and Alternative Comm. 26(4), 267–277 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    GUIDE Consortium: User Interaction & Application Requirements - Deliverable D2.1 (2011)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hawley, M.S., Enderby, P., Green, P., Cunningham, S., Brownsell, S., Carmichael, J., Parker, M., Hatzis, A., O’Neill, P., Palmer, R.: A speech-controlled environmental control system for people with severe dysarthria. Medical Engineering & Physics 29(5), 586–593 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jian, C., Sasse, N., von Steinbüchel-Rheinwall, N., Schafmeister, F., Shi, H., Rachuy, C., Schmidt, H.: Towards effective, efficient and elderly-friendly multimodal interaction. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Pervasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA 2011), article 45, pp. 1–8. ACM, New York (2011)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kopp, S., Wachsmuth, I.: Synthesizing multimodal utterances for conversational agents. Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds 15(1), 39–52 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kramer, M., Pitsch, K.: “Gibt es noch irgendwas, das Sie in der Woche machen wollen?” - Terminplanung mit dem virtuellen Agenten Billie. A peer-reviewed abstract. Presented at the 51st Meeting of Arbeitskreis Angewandte Gesprächsforschung, Dortmund (2012)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kramer, M., Yaghoubzadeh, R., Kopp, S., Pitsch, K.: A Conversational Virtual Human as Autonomous Assistant for Elderly and Cognitively Impaired Users? Social Acceptability and Design Considerations. In: Proceedings of the INFORMATIK 2013 Workshop “Who is Afraid of Autonomous Machines? Transgressions Between Body, Mind, and Technology”, Koblenz, Germany (in press, 2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Okato, Y., Kato, K., Yamamoto, M., Itahashi, S.: System-user interaction and response strategy in spoken dialogue system. In: 5th Int. Conf. on Spoken Language Processing/7th Australian Int. Speech Science and Tech. Conf., Sydney (1998)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sakai, Y., Nonaka, Y., Yasuda, K., Nakano, Y.I.: Listener agent for elderly people with dementia. In: Proceedings of the 7th Annual ACM/IEEE Int. Conf. on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2012), pp. 199–200. ACM, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Selting, M., et al.: Gesprächsanalytisches Transkriptionssystem 2 (GAT 2). Gesprächsforschung - Online-Zeitschrift zur verbalen Interaktion 10, 353–402 (2009)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Traum, D., Larsson, S.: The Information State Approach to Dialogue Management. In: Smith, Kuppevelt (eds.) Current and New Directions in Discourse & Dialogue, pp. 325–353. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Vardoulakis, L.P., Ring, L., Barry, B., Sidner, C.L., Bickmore, T.: Designing Relational Agents as Long Term Social Companions for Older Adults. In: Nakano, Y., Neff, M., Paiva, A., Walker, M. (eds.) IVA 2012. LNCS, vol. 7502, pp. 289–302. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    van Welbergen, H., Reidsma, D., Kopp, S.: An Incremental Multimodal Realizer for Behavior Co-Articulation and Coordination. In: Nakano, Y., Neff, M., Paiva, A., Walker, M. (eds.) IVA 2012. LNCS, vol. 7502, pp. 175–188. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Williamson, J.R., McGee-Lennon, M., Brewster, S.: Designing multimodal reminders for the home: pairing content with presentation. In: Proceedings of the 14th ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI 2012), pp. 445–448. ACM, New York (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wolters, M., Kallirroi Georgila, K., Moore, J.D., MacPherson, S.E.: Being Old Doesn’t Mean Acting Old: How Older Users Interact with Spoken Dialog Systems. ACM Trans. Access. Comput. 2(1), Article 2 (2009)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Yaghoubzadeh, R., Kopp, S.: Toward a virtual assistant for vulnerable users: designing careful interaction. In: Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Speech and Multimodal Interaction in Assistive Environments (SMIAE 2012), pp. 13–17. Association for Computational Linguistics, Stroudsburg (2012)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Young, V., Mihailidis, A.: Difficulties in Automatic Speech Recognition of Dysarthric Speakers and Implications for Speech-Based Applications Used by the Elderly: A Literature Review. Assistive Technology 22(2), 99–112 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CITECBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

Personalised recommendations