More general evaluation of a client-centered counseling agent

Tsubasa Horii, Yoshitaka Sakurai, Eriko Sakurai, Setsuo Tsuruta, Rainer Knauf, Ernesto Damiani, Andrea Kutics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A lot of people in Japan suffer from bad conditions of their mental health with an increasing tendency, in particular jobseekers and elderly persons. The classical way to solve their problem is to consult a counselor, who treats these people in a way to become aware of the core of their problem and to solve it. However, the number of well qualified counselors is limited. For this purpose, we developed a VCA (Virtual Counseling Agent) as a further evolution of a formerly developed CRECA (Context Respectful Counseling Agent). CRECA had a text interface. To much more imitate a human counselor, VCA has an image avatar and a voice conversation using the Google Cloud audio API. Further, VCA is made independent of counseling content fields. Thus, it is more generalized than CRECA or ELIZA in order for every people to easily use everywhere in every situation. Here, VCA, CRECA, and ELIZA are comparatively evaluated by questionnaire after the use of 10 college students having career problems as well as elderly persons struggling with modern IT. As a result, VCA significantly exceeded the average value of ELIZA along with the significant difference at the level of 5%. Moreover, average of the evaluation value is not worse than CRECA. Compared to CRECA, VCA does not limit the content and field of consultation. Especially, elderly persons struggling with modern IT could not use CRECA that have only text interface. It can be used generally at any time in everyday natural conversation. It can easily be used by elderly people and the digital divided due to voice conversion.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE World Congress on Services, SERVICES 2019
EditorsCarl K. Chang, Peter Chen, Michael Goul, Katsunori Oyama, Stephan Reiff-Marganiec, Yanchun Sun, Shangguang Wang, Zhongjie Wang
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781728138510
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Event2019 IEEE World Congress on Services, SERVICES 2019 - Milan, Italy
Duration: 8 Jul 201913 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2019 IEEE World Congress on Services, SERVICES 2019


Conference2019 IEEE World Congress on Services, SERVICES 2019


  • Counseling Agent.
  • Digitally Divided Elderly People.
  • Distress.
  • Image Avatar.
  • Virtual Counseling Agent.
  • Voice Conversation


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