Ted – the digital avatar living with dementia.

Dementia Australia’s ‘Ted’, an avatar living with dementia which was jointly developed by the Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A²I²) to help care workers learn good communication skills for people living with dementia, was the 2020 Victorian AIIA iAward winner under the Not-For-Profit category.

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is Australia’s peak industry representative body for innovation technology, and the iAwards are Australia’s longest running and most broadly scoped innovation recognition program, promoting excellence in the Australian digital technology ecosystem.

‘Ted the AI Avatar’ was a collaboration between Dementia Australia, A²I² and the ARC Research Hub for Digital Enhanced Living (the Hub). As part of the collaboration, the Hub conducted the avatar trials with relevant participants from the industry and provided an evaluation on the effectiveness of the online education tool.

A²I² Co-Director and Director ARC Research Hub for Digital Enhanced Living Professor Kon Mouzakis said that ‘Ted’ was developed using the Unity game engine and to provide realism, all visual expressions and emotions were captured using a facial motion capture system on an actor.

A preliminary evaluation of ‘Ted’ showed that it helped aged care workers develop increased confidence and a greater sense of just how impactful good communication skills can be on a person living with dementia“, Professor Mouzakis said.

Our evaluation showed 100 percent of aged care workers recalled the five principles of positive communication eight weeks after their learning experience – in contrast, only 20 percent recalled these principles using traditional learning models.”

The Hub congratulates our industry partner Dementia Australia and A²I² on this fantastic achievement. Dementia Australia’s ‘Ted’ will now compete in the National iAwards in the coming weeks.

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