A research group led by Professor Satoshi Nakamura of the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, in collaboration with the Nara Medical University, has developed a social skill practice system using virtual "people" on a computer screen.A demonstration test is currently underway.

 Social skills refer to the ability to manage verbal and non-verbal behavior while interacting with one or more people.People who have difficulty interacting with others have difficulty managing their own social behavior appropriately and interpreting the social behavior of others.

 The research group has developed a system for practicing social skills with a humanoid virtual agent that appears on a computer screen.This social skill training (SST) system is based on human trainer data.Voice recognition recognizes the user's utterances and the system responds.After that, we extract a feature set of social behavior (voice, facial expression, eye gaze, gesture, utterance content, etc.) and use them to predict social skills.Show users what they do well and what they can do better.

 Professor Nakamura and his colleagues aim to build digital therapeutics (collective term for therapeutic applications that provide therapeutic interventions for diseases) for people with autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and typical development.A demonstration test of the SST system has already started in the group day care and rework programs at Nara Medical University.

 In the future, if the SST system is incorporated as part of medical rehabilitation and day care, it will become more popular, and it is expected that it will have a synergistic effect in improving social skills together with online practice at home.

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Nara Medical University

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