Smart conversational agents for reminiscence

Svetlana Nikitina Sara Callaioli Marcos Baez

In this paper we describe the requirements and early system design for a smart conversational agent that can assist older adults in the reminiscence process. The practice of reminiscence has well documented benefits for the mental, social and emotional well-being of older adults. However, the technology support, valuable in many different ways, is still limited in terms of need of co-located human presence, data collection capabilities, and ability to support sustained engagement, thus missing key opportunities to improve care practices, facilitate social interactions, and bring the reminiscence practice closer to those with less opportunities to engage in co-located sessions with a (trained) companion. We discuss conversational agents and cognitive services as the platform for building the next generation of reminiscence applications, and introduce the concept application of a smart reminiscence agent.