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March 2022 Update: We are nearest the end of our first phase of Film Detective development!

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Film Detective is a game for adolescents on the autism spectrum to teach a virtual agent about theory of mind—the ability to ascribe mental states (such as beliefs, desires, and emotions) to other people—and to use these concepts in interpreting others’ actions.

This game is under development through a partnership between the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD), part of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development.

We are funded by a grant from the Insitute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Special Education Research (IES NCSER, Award No. R324A180171, PI Maithilee Kunda). Film Detective is based on an adaptation of the Betty’s Brain science education platform, also developed at Vanderbilt with a 2006 IES grant (PI Gautam Biswas).

For more about the other research we do in Vanderbilt’s Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence and Visual Analogical Systems, please visit the AIVAS Lab website.