The National Institute of Mental Health says about 15 million adults in the US have social phobias. For some people, such as those suffering from Asperger’s syndrome, it is difficult to make eye contact and appropriately react to social clues. This is where MITs new software, called My Automated Conversation coacH (MACH), comes in to help.
The software simulates face-to-face conversations and provides users with feedback using a computer-generated onscreen face, along with speech, facial and behavioral analysis and synthesis tools.
“Interpersonal skills are the key to being successful at work and at home,” said MIT Media Lab doctoral student M. Ehsan Hoque who led the research. “How we appear and how we convey our feelings to others defines us. But there isn’t much help out there to improve on that segment of interaction.”