AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fifth International FLAIRS Conference

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Building an On-Demand Avatar-Based Health Intervention for Behavior Change
Christine Lisetti, Ugan Yasavur, Claudia de Leon, Reza Amini, Ubbo Visser, Naphtali Rishe

Last modified: 2012-05-16


We discuss the design and implementation of the pro- totype of an avatar-based health system aimed at pro- viding people access to an effective behavior change intervention which can help them to find and cultivate motivation to change unhealthy lifestyles. An empathic Embodied Conversational Agent (ECA) delivers the in- tervention. The health dialog is directed by a compu- tational model of Motivational Interviewing, a novel effective face-to-face patient-centered counseling style which respects an individual’s pace toward behavior change. Although conducted on a small sample size, re- sults of a preliminary user study to asses users’ accep- tance of the avatar counselor indicate that the current early version of the system prototype is well accepted by 75% of users.


affective computing; health informatics; avatars; embodied conversational agents; virtual characters; behavior change

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