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The EMPATHIC Project: Building an Expressive, Advanced Virtual Coach to Improve Independent Healthy-Life-Years of the Elderly

by   Luisa Brinkschulte, et al.

This paper outlines the EMPATHIC Research Innovation project, which aims to research, innovate, explore and validate new interaction paradigms and plat-forms for future generations of Personalized Virtual Coaches to assist elderly people living independently at and around their home. Innovative multimodal face analytics, adaptive spoken dialogue systems, and natural language inter-faces are part of what the project investigates and innovates, aiming to help dependent aging persons and their carers. It will uses remote, non-intrusive technologies to extract physiological markers of emotional states and adapt respective coach responses. In doing so, it aims to develop causal models for emotionally believable coach-user interactions, which shall engage elders and thus keep off loneliness, sustain health, enhance quality of life, and simplify access to future telecare services. Through measurable end-user validations performed in Spain, Norway and France (and complementary user evaluations in Italy), the proposed methods and solutions will have to demonstrate useful-ness, reliability, flexibility and robustness.


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