CS Colloquium: Skip Rizzo (USC) - The Birth of Intelligent Virtual Human Agents in Clinical Healthcare
Wed, Feb 13, 2019 @ 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM
Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars
Speaker: Skip Rizzo, University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies
Talk Title: The Birth of Intelligent Virtual Human Agents in Clinical Healthcare
Series: Computer Science Colloquium
Abstract: Since the mid-1990s, a significant scientific literature has evolved regarding the mental/physical health outcomes from the use of what we now refer to as Clinical Virtual Reality (VR). While the preponderance of clinical work with VR has focused on building immersive virtual worlds for treating anxiety disorders with exposure therapy, providing distracting immersive experiences for acute pain management, and supporting physical rehabilitation with game-based interactive content, there are other emerging areas that have extended the impact of VR in healthcare. One such area involves the evolution of conversational virtual human (VH) agents. This has been driven by seminal research and development leading to the creation of highly interactive, artificially intelligent and natural language capable VHs that can engage real human users in a credible fashion. No longer at the level of a prop to add context or minimal faux interaction in a virtual world, VH representations can now be designed to perceive and act in a 3D virtual world, engage in face-to-face spoken dialogues with real users, and in some cases, can exhibit human-like emotional reactions. This presentation will provide a brief rationale and overview of research that has shown the benefits derived from the use of virtual humans in healthcare applications. Research will be detailed reporting positive outcomes from studies using VHs in the role of virtual patients for training novice clinicians, as job interview/social skill trainers for persons on the autism spectrum, and as online healthcare support agents with university students and military Veterans. The computational capacity now exists to deliver similar VH interactions by way of mobile device technology. This capability can support the "anywhere/anytime" availability of VH characters as agents for engaging users with healthcare information and could provide opportunities for improving access to care and emotional support for a wide range of wellness and clinical applications for a variety of populations. This work will be discussed along with a look into the future of this next major movement in Clinical VR.
This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.
Biography: Skip Rizzo is a clinical psychologist and Director of Medical VR at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies. He is also a Research Professor with the USC Dept. of Psychiatry and School of Gerontology. Over the last 25 years, Skip has conducted research on the design, development and evaluation of Virtual Reality systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation across the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations. This work has focused on PTSD, TBI, Autism, ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, stroke and other clinical conditions. He has also driven an extensive research program on the use of intelligent virtual human agents for clinical training, healthcare information support, and clinical assessment. In spite of the diversity of these clinical R&D areas, the common thread that drives all of his work with digital technologies involves the study of how Virtual Reality simulations can be usefully applied to human healthcare beyond what is possible with traditional 20th Century methods.
Audiences: Everyone Is Invited
Contact: Computer Science Department