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Feeling cared for has important influence on physiology, cognition and emotional states. It plays a very crucial role in education and medical professions to help people deal with emotional problems. In this paper, we present an interactive caring agent which uses facial expressions, hand gestures, body movements, and social dialogue to show empathy and active listening for interacting with students in a learning system. The caring agent would listen to learners' social and affective needs, provide empathic feedback to recover from negative emotions (such as frustration), and encourage learners to overcome academic problems. The preliminary results revealed that the caring agent may not only increase the interaction between students and the learning system, but also have positive effects on students' emotions to make them more engaged in learning.
Date of Conference: 18-20 July 2007