Fun Finds Friday: Socially Intelligent Robots?

[dot_recommends] December 3, 2021 Uncategorized

Making Robots Less Annoying

a girld and a robot greet one another

 

If robots are our future assistants, they need to get much smarter. And the pain point isn’t simply around enhancing current AI and machine-learning capabilities. Robots need to be socially smarter, too!

Socially Intelligent Robots to Help with Everyday Tasks

Most of us have heard news stories about the need for self-driving cars to get better at reading unusual traffic situations.

But researcher Jason R. Wilson has been working on a different type of learning: social-emotional intelligence.

Wilson presented his findings at the Artificial Intelligence for Human-Robot Interaction Symposium earlier this year.

  • “I am interested in designing robots that help people with everyday tasks, such as cooking dinner, learning math, or assembling Ikea furniture,” Wilson told TechXplore.
  • “I’m not looking to replace people that help with these tasks. Instead, I want robots to be able to supplement human assistance, especially in cases where we do not have enough people to help.”

 

Giving Humans Increased Dignity

Wilson is teaching robots to read human nonverbal social cues.

Knowing how to read human body language will allow robots to “make decisions” about when to intervene, when to offer help, and when to leave humans in peace.

“Socially assistive” robots will be able to:

  • Read and interpret human body language
  • Know when it is appropriate to step in and help
  • Process and respond appropriately to human social cues
  • Avoid disturbing humans when they want to be left alone
  • Intervene when needed without complex commands

 

How Do The Robots Know What to Do?

Verbal cues from humans, such as the phrase “I’m not sure,” would be one way the robots would know to intervene. Non-verbal cues, including the human gaze toward the robot, will also be taught.

Now that researchers are working on making robots socially-aware, maybe they can make other technology less annoying, too!

Have some fun tech news to share? Get in touch with us on LinkedIn or Tweet us. We’re always happy to talk!

–parin

Managing Partner

Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

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