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Voice assistants as a personal coach

Voice assistants as a personal coach

Dr. Laura Aymerich carried out together with the researcher Dr. Iliana Ferrer, a study which results reveal a decrease in negative emotion and an increase in personal growth and life satisfaction after using a virtual life coach


Imatge inicial

Life coaching can contribute to goal attainment, quality of life, and psychological well-being enhancement. Based on this premise, the researchers conducted two studies to explore the capacity of a virtual life coach to deliver a coaching program for goal achievement. For this purpose, they programmed NORIKA, a conversational agent based only on voice, which would guide people to achieve their goals in the same way that a human does.

The study involved 30 participants. All of them had three sessions with the application NORIKA, which came in the form of an iPhone app and users controlled it using a simple interface. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers conducted the sessions within each subject’s home. After using the application, the psychological well-being of the participants improved. 

According to Dr. Aymerich, although for the moment the conversational agent cannot offer the same abilities and services as a session with a coach or a therapist, it can serve to help eliminate attitudinal barriers that still exist when seeking therapeutic support to improve psychological well-being

The study was published online on 3 December in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.



Reference work:
L. Aymerich-Franch and I. Ferrer. Investigating the use of speech-based conversational agents for life coaching. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 159 (2022) 102745.





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