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M. Ehsan Hoque develops digital helpers that teach social skills

Humanlike assistants give a conversational boost to job applicants, people with developmental disorders

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1:51pm, October 4, 2017
M. Ehsan Hoque

“In the future, we’ll all have digital, personalized assistants,” says M. Ehsan Hoque.

M. Ehsan Hoque, 35
Computer scientist
University of Rochester

A growing band of digital characters that converse, read faces and track body language is helping humans to communicate better with one another. While virtual helpers that perform practical tasks, such as dealing with customer service issues, are becoming ubiquitous, computer scientist M. Ehsan Hoque is at the forefront of a more emotionally savvy movement. He and his team at the University of Rochester in New York create software for digital agents that recognize when a person is succeeding or failing in specific types of social interactions. Data from face-to-face conversations and feedback from professional counselors and interviewers with relevant expertise inform this breed of

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