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Cloud services for culture aware conversation: socially assistive robots and virtual assistantsThis paper introduces a new Cloud platform providing services for culturally competent interaction, that has been developed to expand the capabilities of Socially Assistive Robots and virtual assistants interacting with older persons. The rationale behind the proposed architecture is discussed, by outlining key principles as well as the functionalities provided, with a specific focus on verbal interaction. Three case studies, the humanoid robot Pepper, a robotic medicine dispenser Pillo, and a custom-built Android-based virtual assistant, are analyzed in detail, by showing how robots and other assistants may easily access culturally competent Cloud services to expand their interaction capabilities. Transcripts of conversations are reported and commented, in order to outline both the positive features and the limitations of the system.