Research -> Silver Assistant


As people grow older, they start to lose their loved ones and to experience a decline in their cognitive and physical capabilities. This realization, coupled with the fact that many elderly people live by themselves, may result in a feeling of extreme loneliness. If left untreated, this feeling may lead to serious consequences such as depression and even suicide. To alleviate this feeling, it is important for the elderly to stay socially active and to retain a high level of interest in hobbies/work. However, this may often not be possible due to the local community environment or due to individual personality traits.

In this project, we will design and develop a silver agent to act as a personalized artificial companion to help reduce the problem of loneliness among the elderly. The silver agent can reside in multiple devices and platforms for easy access by the elderly, and provide them with a wide range of companionship features. The main research foci include:

  • environmental context modeling;
  • user modeling;
  • human-centered interaction design;
  • processing of the user’s affective and social signals;
  • providing personalized cognitive assistance;
  • developing long-term human-agent relationships;
  • personalized context-aware text-to-speech capabilities.