Healthcare providers practice a brief motivational intervention with an AI-driven virtual client

SIMmersion has developed a virtual client with an alcohol use disorder allowing clinicians to practice and develop brief motivational intervention skills to better support their real clients

COLUMBIA, MD., November 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Gabe Turner lives below the poverty line and in her mother’s house with her siblings. He normally finds part-time work in construction. However, there are no benefits and when he is not working he is not paid. Following a knee injury, Gabe is off work for a few weeks. Lack of income motivates him to go to a free clinic to get painkillers so he can return to work. His answers to the intake questionnaire lead the doctor to determine that he is in the “at risk” range for alcohol consumption. As a result, the doctor forces him to consult a clinician before prescribing medication. Gabe needs to cut down on his drinking. How can he be helped?

While Gabe is a fictional character, he is representative of real customers. It looks and behaves like a real person. Gabe is driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and fuzzy logic, and was designed to help clinicians practice and develop motivational brief intervention skills.

What is Brief Motivational Intervention?

Brief motivational intervention is an important tool that clinicians use to treat clients with alcohol use disorder. It draws on the spirit of motivational interviewing to motivate change. and is used in a health care setting when a relatively short intervention is required. Specifically, the intervention focuses on understanding motivations. Learning to apply the intervention in a clinical setting is a challenge. Gabe provides the practice opportunities needed to learn and use this treatment technique.

A clinical session with Gabe

A simulated clinical session with Gabe was designed to replicate a session with an actual client. As the rapport builds with him, he will respond by talking about why he wants to keep drinking. When a user applies intervention techniques correctly, Gabe realizes that he needs to make changes. Users can have as many sessions with Gabe as needed to build both their confidence and skill level in using the intervention. With each new simulated session, most of Gabe’s responses to user statements will be different from previous ones, providing a new experience each time.

The technology behind Gabe

During a conversation with Gabe, users select from a rich set of prompts. Each selected prompt usually has 7 or more available answers. Gabe calculates the probabilities for each answer and uses them to choose one at random. The calculations are based on one of her randomly chosen personalities and the relationship the user has developed with her. The relationship between the user and Gabe will evolve in a way that depends on what the user says.

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You can contact SIMmersion by calling 443 283 2555 or online at

Media Contact:
Dale Olsen
[email protected]


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