Always-On Relational Agents
for Social Support of Isolated Older Adults

One of the long-held dreams of artificial intelligence is to create an agent (whether robotic, animated or only a disembodied voice) that functions as a permanent member of a human household. Because humans are deeply and fundamentally social beings, they cannot help but expect such a continuously present artificial agent, especially if humanoid, to become part of their network of personal relationships.

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Supported in part by the National Science Foundation under award IIS-1012083.
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In collaboration with the Relational Agents Group at Northeastern University.
  • Principal Investigator: Candace L. Sidner
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Charles Rich
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Timothy Bickmore (Northeastern University)
  • Graduate Students (WPI): Mahni Shayganfar, Morteza Behrooz, Bahador Nooraei, William Coon
  • Undergraduate Students (WPI): Ayesha Fathima, Peng Ren, Mitch Wills, JJ Liu, Fred Clinckemaillie
List of Downloadable Publications
GitHub Repository

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Demonstration of a Robotic Companion, January 2015

Interview with Investigators, October 2012

Concept Demonstration, March 2011