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Building a working alliance with a knowledge based system through an embodied conversational agent

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Abstract

Knowledge is only useful if the intended user is able to utilize the system. In early knowledge based systems, known as expert systems, the user interface provided the means through which knowledge was acquired and accessed. Today it is possible to interact with the knowledge of an expert through a humanlike interface, in the form of an embodied conversational agent (ECA). Through familiar conversational-style interaction, the ECA can obtain the state of the user and provide a recommendation overcoming health literacy barriers and, depending on the nature of the dialogue, build a working alliance with the human that will encourage adherence to the advice. In this paper we describe the eADVICE system in the domain of paediatric incontinence that aims to improve adherence through the use of an ECA as the interface to the domain knowledge. Results of an initial pilot are provided showing that those who used the ECA achieved improved health outcomes and found the experience positive.

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Richards, D., & Caldwell, P. (2016). Building a working alliance with a knowledge based system through an embodied conversational agent. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 9806 LNCS, pp. 213–227). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-42706-5_16

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