Interactive AI technologies have the potential to create societal impact through changing human behaviour. The aim of the MasterMinds project is to further develop these technologies, such as serious gaming, augmented and virtual reality, intelligent tutoring systems, natural language processing and data science in order to influence human behaviour. The project is an initiative of Tilburg University and Fontys ICT under the flag of MindLabs.

Within the MasterMinds project, the aim for the IXD research group is to use these technologies to support the learning child – or in a broad sense, including students. Several subprojects were defined to work towards these goals.

In Avatar Learning we focus on the learning child that feels unseen or unheard within the classroom setting, for various reasons. The aim is to create a motivating, digital environment where a virtual agent performs an emotional check-in with the child to assess how they are feeling. This avatar can help the teacher by detecting emotional problems. When a certain level of discomfort is detected, the AI will suggest to alert the teacher.

In Adaptive learning the child is learning by playing an adaptive game. The difficulty level is continuously matched to the player, using several physiological measures as input.

Addictive learning explores ways in which learning for adolescents can be made somewhat addictive by using catchy knowledge snacks and nudges, inspired by the TikTok algorithm. It also looks at its ethical, legal and social implications.

GrowthMoves looks at exergaming: learning maths skills while playing a physically active game. We’re looking at several avenues to design a follow-up to the previous Kiem project, including a collaboration with the practorate Interactive Technology of ROC Tilburg.

Brainwaves explores the possibilities of using EEG signals to control a player character in a game, as well as develop several game concepts for a game that optimally uses this technology, but also takes into account the limitations of the potential target audience (paralysis patients).

Last but not least, the new Holobox at MindLabs will be used to study how AI and avatars can benefit children’s learning in combination with a Holobox.

The MasterMinds project is funded by a Regio Deal public grant by Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland.