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Avatar life-review to support memory in older adults

Avatar life-review to support memory in older adults

Semi Ryu and Stefano Faralli / USA
Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Manheim
www.semiryu.netweb.informatik.uni-mannheim.de/faralli/

This workshop will introduce an innovative therapy platform designed for older adults, with interactive avatars reflecting users’ speech, gestures, and emotional states in real time. This transdisciplinary project integrates electronic arts, gaming, computer science, gerontology, storytelling, and therapy rooted in Korean shamanistic practice.

This system was designed to strive to enhance seniors’ quality of life, fostering communication among peers, caregivers, and family members, promoting intergenerational relationships by eliciting memories invested with emotion and buoyed by engaging play. Seniors act out reminiscences at various ages (child, teenager, adult, elder), embodying their life stories and those of significant others through configurable avatars. Avatars’ affective gestures and sound reflect results of sentiment analysis algorithms detecting the emotional contents of the user’s live speech.

This workshop will examine diverse aspects of the project: conceptual foundations, multimedia production, research findings based on formative testing with the senior target population, and avatar life-review system opening to public.