Videophone Conversation of Two Individuals with Dementia Using an Anime Agent System
We reported that videophone conversation was effective in increasing psychological stability of individuals with dementia. We als developed an anime agent system to serve as a conversation partner for individuals with dementia. The computer screen showed an animated face resembling “a 5-year-old grandchild.” The agent was programmed to ask any of 120 pre-set reminiscence questions, automatically detect the ends of replies, and follow with new questions. In the third experiment, the remote multi-party conversation system Skype™ was integrated with the agent system. The agent participated as a presenter of conversation topics for the multi-party interaction. Three pairs conversed under two conditions: conversation of two subjects and a chairperson (human condition) and conversation in which the agent participated as a topic presenter to the above groups (agent condition). The quality of the conversation was scored by three evaluators. The average score of the evaluation was 3.9 (78 %) in the agent condition and 4.9 (100 %) in the human condition. With further improvement of this agent system, it will become practical as a topic presenter for multi-party conversation of individuals with dementia.
KeywordsAgent Dementia Conversation Videophone Intervention
The authors wish to thank the cooperation of the six subjects and their caregivers, the three evaluators, Hachiro Kiyoto, and Shingo Aoe.
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