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Rachel: Design of an emotionally targeted interactive agent for children with autism

Rachel: Design of an emotionally targeted interactive agent for children with autism,10.1109/ICME.2011.6011990,Emily Mower,Matthew P. Black,Elisa Flor

Rachel: Design of an emotionally targeted interactive agent for children with autism  
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Increasingly, multimodal human-computer interactive tools are leveraged in both autism research and therapies. Embodied conversational agents (ECAs) are employed to facilitate the collection of socio-emotional interactive data from children with autism. In this paper we present an overview of the Rachel system developed at the University of Southern California. The Rachel ECA is designed to elicit and analyze complex, structured, and naturalistic interactions and to encourage affective and social behavior. The pilot studies suggest that this tool can be used to effectively elicit social conversational behavior. This paper presents a description of the multimodal human-computer interaction system and an overview of the collected data. Future work includes utilizing signal processing techniques to provide a quantitative description of the interaction patterns. Index Terms: Embodied conversational agent, multimodal interface, audio-video recording, autism, children’s speech
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