Abstract in English:
Conversational agents can provide valuable cognitive and/or emotional assistance to elderly users or people with cognitive impairments who often have difficulties in organizing and following a structured day schedule. Previous research showed that a virtual assistant that can interact in spoken language would be a desirable help for those users. However, these user groups pose specific requirements for spoken dialogue interaction that existing systems hardly meet. This paper presents work on a virtual conversational assistant that was designed for, and together with, elderly as well as cognitively handicapped users. It has been specifically developed to enable ‘socially cooperative dialogue’ – adaptive and aware conversational interaction in which mutual understanding is co-constructed and ensured collaboratively. The technical approach is described and results of evaluation studies are reported.