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#291: Medieval Automata and Cathartic Objects: Modern Robots Inspired by History, with Michal Luria

Robohub

In this episode, Lauren Klein interviews Michal Luria, a PhD candidate in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, about research that explores the boundaries of Human-Robot Interaction. Michal draws inspiration from the Medieval Times for her project to test how historical automata can inform modern robotics. She also discusses her work with cathartic objects to support emotional release. Michal Luria is a PhD candidate in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, advised by Professors Jodi Forlizzi and John Zimmerman. Prior to her PhD, Michal studied Interactive Communication at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel.


Believable Robot Characters

AI Magazine

Believability of characters has been an objective in literature, theater, film, and animation. We argue that believable robot characters are important in human-robot interaction, as well. In particular, we contend that believable characters evoke users’ social responses that, for some tasks, lead to more natural interactions and are associated with improved task performance. In a dialogue-capable robot, a key to such believability is the integration of a consistent storyline, verbal and nonverbal behaviors, and sociocultural context. We describe our work in this area and present empirical results from three robot receptionist testbeds that operate "in the wild."


Believable Robot Characters

AI Magazine

Believability of characters has been an objective in literature, theater, film, and animation. We argue that believable robot characters are important in human-robot interaction, as well. In particular, we contend that believable characters evoke users' social responses that, for some tasks, lead to more natural interactions and are associated with improved task performance. In a dialogue-capable robot, a key to such believability is the integration of a consistent story line, verbal and nonverbal behaviors, and sociocultural context. We describe our work in this area and present empirical results from three robot receptionist test beds that operate "in the wild."


Building an emotional machine

#artificialintelligence

From the sci-fi classic "Bladerunner" to the recent films "Her" and "Ex Machina," pop culture is filled with stories demonstrating our simultaneous fascination with and fear of artificial intelligence (AI). This interest is rooted in questions about where the line between human and artificial intelligence will be, and whether that line might one day disappear. Will robots eventually be able to not only think but also feel and behave like us? Could a robot ever be fully human? It is a relatively new field that started in the 1990s.8 A new multidisciplinary field called developmental robotics is paving the way to some answers.(a)


Vyo Is a Fascinating and Unique Take on Social Domestic Robots

AITopics Original Links

The way to make a social home robot seems to be pretty standardized: basically, you cram a tablet computer into a cute robot body with some degrees of freedom and do your best to make sure that your voice recognition and conversation algorithms are as good of an experience as you possibly can, using a screen to help you out when necessary. This is fine, if you can get it to work well, but there's a concern that it's just going to turn into an experience that's essentially talking to a gussied-up version of your phone. A group of researchers including Michal Luria, Guy Hoffman, Benny Megidish, Oren Zuckerman, Roberto Aimi, and Sung Park from IDC Herzliya, Cornell, and SK Telecom have developed a prototype social robot called Vyo. Vyo is "a personal assistant serving as a centralized interface for smart home devices." Nothing new there, but what sets Vyo apart is how you interact with it: it combines non-anthropomorphic design with anthropomorphic expressiveness and a tactile object-based control system into a social robot that's totally, adorably different.