These Robotic Objects Are Designed to Be Stabbed and Beaten to Help You Feel Better

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At a human-computer interaction conference this week in Glasgow, U.K., Carnegie Mellon University researcher Michal Luria is presenting a paper on "Challenges of Designing HCI for Negative Emotions." The discussion includes a case study involving what Luria calls "cathartic objects": robotic contraptions that you can beat, stab, smash, and swear at to help yourself feel better. In the paper, presented at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Luria and co-authors Amit Zoran and Jodi Forlizzi point out that technology tends to try and handle negative emotions by attempting to "fix" them immediately: Technology is often designed to support positive emotions, yet it is not very common to encounter technology that helps people engage with emotions of sadness, anger or loneliness (as opposed to resolving them)... As technology gains a central role in shaping everyday life and is becoming increasingly social, perhaps there is a design space for interaction with social and personal negative emotions. The researchers acknowledge that it's going to be challenging to find "cathartic" ways of engaging with negative emotions using technology that can demonstrably improve well-being, and that studying the topic is going to be tricky as well.


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.


Vyo Is a Fascinating and Unique Take on Social Domestic Robots

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

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, 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.


Israeli film 'The Wedding Plan,' idiosyncratic and spiritual, is not your typical romantic comedy

Los Angeles Times

To call "The Wedding Plan" a romantic comedy, as the film's press materials do, may make sense on a marketing level: Its high-concept plot evokes the frothy, star-driven studio vehicles of yore that are now more likely to be made as a cable movie or indie film. In reality, that categorization is a bit simplistic for a movie as unique, idiosyncratic and spiritual as this second feature from American Israeli writer-director Rama Burshtein, an ultra-Orthodox Jew whose acclaimed 2012 debut film, "Fill the Void," offered a much darker vision of faith and marriage. "The Wedding Plan" is not your mother's rom-com, even if it may start out that way. Michal (Noa Koler) is a 32-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman in Jerusalem whose fiancé, Gidi (Erez Drigues), announces that he doesn't love her. Crushed, yet bound and determined to get married anyway, the lonely Michal decides to keep her planned wedding date (22 days away, on the eighth night of Hanukkah); pay up with Shimi (Amos Tamam), the bemused and dashing owner of the banquet hall she's already reserved; send out invitations, and put her faith in God that a suitable groom will appear in time.


Transhumanism and the idea of education in the world of cyborgs. Michal Klichowski

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Poland I have a PhD in educational science. I published 7 books and over 50 papers. I have been working in more than 20 different research projects. I am a member of the editorial boards and a reviewer of several scientific journals. My current research belongs primarily to the area of philosophy of education, cyberpsychology and cognitive neuroscience.