Relational Agents are computer agents designed to form long-term, social-emotional relationships with their users. We are investigating the use of these agents in task domains in which human-agent relationships actually improve task outcomes, such as in coaching, counseling, psychotherapy and healthcare.

Breastfeeding Promotion

Despite recommendations from the CDC and several professional health organizations that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months, only 14.8% of mothers in the U.S. adhere to these guidelines.

The purpose of this project is to develop a relational agent that promotes breastfeeding among new mothers. The agent interacts with mothers during their third trimester to boost motivation, bedside in the hospital maternity ward to provide information on breastfeeding basics, and at home for six months to provide continued assistance.

This work is supported by the Hood Foundation.