The 6th technical integration was virtual and is was great!

The sixth technical integration session of the Council of Coaches (COUCH) project has been successfully concluded! In this intense week-long hackathon 13 people from 6 different institutes collaborated on taking the COUCH platform to the next level. Technical modules related to tracking and sensing, holistic behaviour analysis, coaching strategies, argumentation generation, dialogue management and behaviour realisation have been integrated to form a state-of-the-art multi-agent coaching platform.

The coaching platform collects information from a variety of sources about the user’s health, fitness and mental wellbeing, which is used to analyse short-term and long-term trends in the user’s behaviours. Our models on coaching strategies determine the best course of action to assist the user in setting and achieving their health goals. By generating argumentative dialogue structures, based on the user’s preferences and needs, the system helps the user set realistic and achievable health goals, and can offer substantiated feedback when working towards these goals. Furthermore, coaches can engage with the user in social, cognitive and emotional topics of conversation. All the while, choices that the user makes when interacting with the coaches are used to gain a more holistic view of the user’s wellbeing. Dialogue interactions amongst coaches and with the user are orchestrated in such a way that they follow natural social group dynamics and turn taking, accompanied by social gaze and other nonverbal behaviours.

By bringing our expertise and technologies together we have enabled our virtual coaches to offer even more relevant and personalised coaching while engaging in a rich dynamic interaction with each other and the user.

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