On Monday November 18 2019, the Amsterdam Center for Health Communication (ACHC) hosted a successful symposium on “Conversational Agents for Health Communication”. This was ACHC’s eighth symposium. The main goals of these ACHC symposia are to bring academia and practice from the Netherlands and Flanders closer together by exchanging the most recent insights on specific health communication-related topics.

The opening keynote was held by S. Shyam Sundar, and the closing keynote by Tibor Bosse. Between these two keynotes, academic presentations were given by Theo Araujo (on chatbots and sleep registration), Willem-Paul Brinkman (on chatbots as therapeutic assistance for post-traumatic stress syndrome), and Emiel Krahmer (on how computational linguistics can help create more engaging chatbots) while presentations from practice were given by Aids Fonds (Martijn de Matrijs, on their experience with advies.chat, after it was launched at ACHC 2 years ago), Vilans (Ruth Pel-Littel, on how chatbots can be used to train conversations between the elderly and their caretakers), and Awel Vlaanderen (on how chatbots will be incorporated for helping children at Kindertelefoon). Further, eight so-called blitz presentations were held by speakers from the Netherlands and Flanders.

ACHC looks back at another successful symposium, where nearly 100 participants attended. There was a lot of interaction between the audience and the speakers, both after the presentations and during the coffee breaks

The symposium received financial support not only from NeFCA, but also from the Supreme Nudge research consortium and the RPA Communication at the Universiteit of Amsterdam.

The program of the symposium can be found here, the slides from the presenters can be found here.

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