Development of a Virtual Agent Based Social Tutor for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Marissa Milne, Martin Luerssen, Trent Lewis, Richard Leibbrandt, David Powers

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Virtual agents have been investigated as an educational tool for use with children on the autistic spectrum with positive results being gained for language skills with the use of autonomous agents and social skills with human-controlled agents. This project combines these ideas to investigate the utility of autonomous agents for teaching social skills. The virtual agent used in this project, known as the Thinking Head, has an ability to realistically portray facial expressions that lends it to this task. Two prototype modules were developed for this agent platform, one teaching basic conversation skills and the other dealing with bullying. In a pre-test-post-test evaluation, a group of children with autism who were exposed to the training modules obtained significantly higher post-test scores on their knowledge of these two topics. In addition, responses to a post-training survey indicated that participants found the virtual tutor enjoyable and useful.

    Original languageEnglish
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
    EventWCCI 2010 IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence -
    Duration: 18 Jul 2010 → …

    Conference

    ConferenceWCCI 2010 IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence
    Period18/07/10 → …

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Development of a Virtual Agent Based Social Tutor for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Milne, M., Luerssen, M., Lewis, T., Leibbrandt, R., & Powers, D. (2010). Development of a Virtual Agent Based Social Tutor for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Paper presented at WCCI 2010 IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence, . https://doi.org/10.1109/IJCNN.2010.5596584