Training Adapted Personalised Affective Social Skills with Cultural Virtual Agents – TAPAS

Submission summary

The project proposal TAPAS is targeted to develop tools and methods for Social Skill Training (SST) for a large variety of population. Social skills refer to managing verbal and nonverbal behaviors during an interaction with one or more persons. People facing difficulties interacting with others suffer from using appropriately their social behaviors and interpreting them in others. SST is used by therapists to train people to practice social interaction and overcome their social fear. It relies on role play as a means to put participants in a controlled social situation.

TAPAS will develop tools and methods for SST to provide personalised training of social skills and help overcome social stress in such everyday situations involving (joint) presentation at school and at work. Our aim is to develop a platform allowing participants to role play social interactions. The targeted population is neurotypical individuals but also individuals with different scales of social pathologies including shyness, alexithymia and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We will inspire the design of the platform from two mainstreams methods for social skills training: Conventional SST and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

In TAPAS, Embodied Conversational Agents will be endowed with different roles: they will act either as co-workers, co-presenters or be part of an audience depending on the scenario. They will be designed to be autonomous entities able to interact with human participants. They will be able to display a wide range of nonverbal behaviors, handle a dialog but also adapt to participants’ behaviors.. Furthermore, the objective and difficulty of social interaction will be adapted to different users displaying different levels of social interaction capabilities.

Project coordinator

Madame Catherine Pélachaud (Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


ISIR Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique
NAIST Nara Institute of Science and Technology
Heartland Heartland Shigisan Hospital
Osaka Osaka University

Help of the ANR 497,106 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: November 2019 - 60 Months

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