Teaching Social Skills

At an Asperger’s conference a few years ago, M. Ehsan Hoque, assistant professor of computer science, was approached by a person who said, “Once I start interacting with someone, I don’t know when to stop. I’d love to get help, but I fear social stigma.”

researcher in front of a screen with a computer simulation

Using his expertise in computer science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, Hoque has since created an automated conversation assistant that senses body language and emotion. The assistant can be used to enhance communication skills or improve those of persons with developmental disorders with impaired communication skills, such as autism. It can coach job candidates as they prepare for interviews, help someone get ready for a date, assist business professionals with their negotiation strategies, and more. The assistant provides private, real-time, objective feedback that encourages people to practice and improve the quality of their interactions.

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Watch a video on some related research of Hoque's that helps vocalists learning how to sing their vowels