News

SimSensei and Skip Rizzo in the New Yorker

October 16, 2014

An article on therapeutic uses for virtual humans featured ICT’s SimSensei platform, along with recent ICT research findings suggesting that people feel less judged by interviews with virtual humans. The story notes that SimSensei has received funding frim DARPA and incorporates a virtual human, a microphone, a webcam, sensors. As Ellie asks questions of subjects and they respond, she accumulates data on their speech patterns and motions in order to assess their mental condition, states the story. Albert (Skip) Rizzo, a psychologist who’s co-leading the project, explained that people with post-traumatic stress disorder often touch their faces. In one ongoing study, soldiers in the Colorado National Guard met with Ellie before combat deployment to Afghanistan, and will meet with her at least once more when they return. The goal is to determine whether the data Ellie gathers can be used to predict mental-health difficulties.