Assessing Social Communication and Collaboration in Autism Spectrum Disorder Using Intelligent Collaborative Virtual Environments

Lian Zhang, Amy S Weitlauf, Ashwaq Zaini Amat, Amy Swanson, Zachary E Warren, Nilanjan Sarkar
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 2019 October 3
Existing literature regarding social communication outcomes of interventions in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) depends upon human raters, with limited generalizability to real world settings. Technological innovation, particularly virtual reality (VR) and collaborative virtual environments (CVE), could offer a replicable, low cost measurement platform when endowed with intelligent agent technology and peer-based interactions. We developed and piloted a novel collaborative virtual environment and intelligent agent (CRETA) for the assessment of social communication and collaboration within system and peer interactions. The system classified user statements with moderate to high accuracies. We found moderate to high agreement in displayed communication and collaboration skills between human-human and human-agent interactions. CRETA offers a promising avenue for future development of autonomous measurement systems for ASD research.


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