ERICA: An Empathetic Android Companion for Covid-19 Quarantine

by   Etsuko Ishii, et al.

Over the past year, research in various domains, including Natural Language Processing (NLP), has been accelerated to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, yet such research has just started on dialogue systems. In this paper, we introduce an end-to-end dialogue system which aims to ease the isolation of people under self-quarantine. We conduct a control simulation experiment to assess the effects of the user interface, a web-based virtual agent called Nora vs. the android ERICA via a video call. The experimental results show that the android offers a more valuable user experience by giving the impression of being more empathetic and engaging in the conversation due to its nonverbal information, such as facial expressions and body gestures.


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