Kerstin Fischer, Professor, Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Title: Why social robots need to be expressive
Abstract: The paper addresses two reasons why social robots need to use emotional expression: On the one hand, emotional expression is a subtle, indirect means for coordination between interactants and as such integral part of how things get done in human interaction. On the other hand, the question arises what exactly we mean by long-term engagement. Using Clark’s (2016) depiction model to track the degree with which robots are treated as social actors over time, reveals that people move in and out of treating the robot as a social actor within seconds. In order to establish long-term engagement, emotional expression as social signal par excellence can contribute to establishing a more coherent social relationship between human and robot.
Malte Young, Assistant Professor, Information Science, Cornell University, NY, USA
Title: What is an expression?
Abstract: A central premise in research on expressivity in HRI is to assume the primary function of expressivity in allowing people to make accurate inferences about another agent’s inner state. Consistent with this perspective, much of the work on expressivity has built on Shannon and Weaver’s sender-message-receiver paradigm, which implies that the correct interpretation of an expression is to be found in the expression itself. Many HRI studies on expressions reflect this idea by focusing on tests of interpretability of decontextualized and discrete sets of a robot’s expressive behaviors. I argue that this perspective misses other social functions that expressivity serves and it misses that the correct interpretation of behavior is not always pre-determined but rather established through interaction. By focusing on emotion expression in HRI, I will highlight limitations of the Shannon and Weaver approach to expression in HRI, and discuss the idea of affective grounding as an alternative perspective that highlights the importance of expressivity in grounding social positioning.
Cindy Bethel, Associate Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, Mississipi State University, USA
Title: Expressive Human-Robot Interactions in Therapeutic Assistive Robotics with Therabot
Abstract: This presentation will cover different aspects of expressivity necessary for long-term interactions with therapeutic robots, such as Therabot. Therabot is a robotic dog that has responsive touch, LED lights on its collar to display the different internal states of the robot, and a variable speed heart rate that can be felt throughout the body. Artificial intelligence techniques are used to vary the behaviors and responses of the Therabot so that the experience of interacting with it changes over time. It also has a small display on its collar to provide information and state of the robot to users. Features will be discussed along with the importance of varying responses over time for long-term interactions.