Anthropomorphic Interfaces for the Underserved

Jaime Teevan Timothy Bickmore, Northeastern University


Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University March 12, 2010
, 12:50pm, Gates B01

One quarter of adults in the US lack basic literacy skills, one third have inadequate health literacy, and an even larger fraction lacks computer literacy. Rather than "dumbing us down", confusing us, dashing expectations, or raising anxiety levels, properly designed conversational character-based interfaces can actually simplify an interaction, making the interface not only usable, but engaging for many underserved populations, even in critical application domains such as medicine and health care. In this talk I'll describe my experiences over the last decade building these interfaces for health education and longitudinal health behavior change interventions in which users have had thousands of counseling sessions with animated health advisors at home, in the hospital and in outpatient clinics.


Timothy Bickmore is an Assistant Professor in the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University. The focus of his research is on the development and evaluation of computer agents that emulate face-to-face interactions between health providers and patients for use in health education and health behavior change interventions, with a particular focus on the emotional and relational aspects of these interactions. Prior to Northeastern, he spent two years as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. Timothy received his Ph.D. in Media Arts & Sciences from MIT.

The talks are open to the public. They are in the Gates Building, Room B01 in the basement. The nearest public parking is in the structure at Campus Drive and Roth Way.

View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine.

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