ideas, innovations and apps for social work in the age of smartphones and social media
MIT is currently working on software systems that can be used to help people practice their interpersonal skills so that they feel more comfortable with social situations. This can be relevant for people that have difficulties in social situations because of i.e. anxiety, social phobia or Asperger´s syndrome. The software, called MACH (short for My Automated Conversation coacH), uses a computer-generated onscreen face, along with facial, speech, and behavior analysis and synthesis software, to simulate face-to-face conversations. It then provides users with feedback on their interactions.[youtube http://youtu.be/krdwB8bfXLQ]
Designed to run on an ordinary laptop, the system uses the computer’s webcam to monitor a user’s facial expressions and movements, and its microphone to capture the subject’s speech. The MACH system then analyses the user’s smiles, head gestures, speech volume and speed, and use of filler words, among other things. The automated interviewer — a life-size, three-dimensional simulated face — can smile and nod in response to the subject’s speech and motions, ask questions and give responses. (source)
As there is no social hardware required it may not take too long before we will have such systems on our mobile devices?