Emotionally literate tech to help treat autism

Researchers have found that children with autism spectrum disorders are more responsive to social feedback when it is provided by technological means, rather than a human.

When therapists do work with autistic children, they often use puppets and animated characters to engage them in interactive play. However, researchers believe that small, friendly looking robots could be even more effective, not just to act as a go-between, but because they can learn how to respond to a child’s emotional state and infer his or her intentions.

Children with autistic spectrum disorders prefer to interact with non-human agents, and robots are simpler and more predictive than humans, so can serve as an intermediate step for developing better human-to-human interaction,’ said Professor Bram Vanderborght of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.

Researchers have found that children with autism spectrum disorders are more responsive to social feedback when it is provided by technological means, rather than a human,’ said Prof. Vanderborght.

Source: Horizon Magazine

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