Visual Counseling Agent and its Evaluation

Yoshitaka Sakurai, Yukino Ikegami, Motoki Sakai, Hiroshi Fujikawa, Setsuo Tsuruta, Avelino J. Gonzalez, Eriko Sakurai, Ernesto Damiani, Andrea Kutics, Rainer Knauf

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


There are significantly many people including IT workers, old persons, job seekers, etc., who suffer from (psychological) distress in their work or life. Compared with this, there are only a limited number of human counselors who can provide mental care to such many distress persons. Initially for psychologically distressed IT workers, we developed a counseling agent (CA) called a context respectful counseling agent (CRECA), which serves IT workers just like a human counsellor. In a context respectful/preserving way to provide unconditional positive regard, CRECA replies prompting to dig or clarify problems as well as paraphrases or processes mirroring. In this paper, to save more persons including even elderly people other than IT workers, CRECA is enhanced to realize Virtual Counseling Agent (VCA) as follows: 1) making more human-friendly by an image avatar with voice conversation, 2) letting confirmation replies such as the relationship among wishes, obstacles, etc. as well as with past sayings in client's utterances, especially for the forgetful/elderly persons. For successful voice conversation, Google cloud speech API is not only exploited but its error processing is elaborated in our VCA system. The evaluation by 14 subjects showed the effect of this new VCA as follows: 1) the dialogue continuation length became twice as long as that of ELIZA, 2) positive feeling by selfawareness became high score 5 or 6 in 7 stages of Likert scale for all the elderly 7 persons.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, SSCI 2018
EditorsSuresh Sundaram
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538692769
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2019
Event8th IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, SSCI 2018 - Bangalore, India
Duration: 18 Nov 201821 Nov 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2018 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, SSCI 2018


Conference8th IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, SSCI 2018


  • context respectful counseling agent
  • dialogue continuation
  • image avatar
  • positive feeling
  • visual counseling agent
  • voice conversation


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