September has arrived and the Council of Coaches project has officially started! First order of business: get together, get organized and get started. As with any Research and Innovation Action, an important first step is to start collecting requirements in order to form a clear picture of what our system will look like. Since we plan to release a first demonstrator of the Council of Coaches system within the upcoming 9 months, there is no time to waste.
The requirements and design philosophy in Council of Coaches is strongly based on the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), focusing on user and stakeholder engagement right from the very start of the project. Our partners at The Danish Board of Technology Foundation have plenty of experience in RRI, and the connection to end-users is ensured through Roessingh Research and Development and the University of Dundee’s School of Medicine.
However, we are not trying to build something from scratch. The project aims to develop a complex Multi-Agent Dialogue Platform that pushes the state of the art in virtual coaching through dynamic, engaging, group-based coaching sessions. Innovation such as this requires a form of technology push — a blend of state of the art technology, high-tech research, and a good amount of creativity.
Our technology push is based on a number of technology components that are brought into the project: the Holistic Behaviour Analysis Framework from the University of Twente‘s Centre for Monitoring and Coaching, the Dialogue Framework from University of Dundee, and the Greta Virtual Agent platform from the University Pierre and Marie Curie that will form the basis of the Human-Computer Interaction design.
Finally, with a view towards the future, the Polytechnic University of Valencia will work towards a proper design of how to tie all these technologies together, building on top of existing frameworks and standards, while Innovation Sprint will start the process of identifying viable exploitation plans in order to maximize the impact of the Council of Coaches.
We are all excited to start this journey and we hope to be able to show off the fruits of our work in the near future!
— Hermie Hermens (Council of Coaches Project Coordinator)
— Harm op den Akker (Council of Coaches Technical Coordinator)