My full paper called “What makes robots social?: A user’s perspective on characteristics for social human-robot interaction” has been accepted as a poster presentation at ICSR 2015, Paris. Social robots are supposed to interact with us in a “humanlike way”. What does that mean? Additionally, we all know that social robots are still far away from ideal
social behavior. So how can we make better social robots? Moreover, social robots will always be programmed machines. Thus, can robots actually be social?
Our paper provides a set of social behaviors and certain specific features social robots should possess based on user’s experiences in a longitudinal home study, discusses whether robots can actually be social, and presents some recommendations to build better social robots.
This week, I will attend the New Friends Conference on Social Robots in Therapy and Education in Almere, The Netherlands. I will present my first thoughts on the ethics of human-robot relationships. A short paper will be available in the conference proceedings, and I was asked to submit a full paper for a special issue to be published in the Interaction Journal of Social Robotics (which was eventually accepted for publication).
Abstract of my paper “The Ethics of Human-Robot Relationships”
Currently, human-robot interactions are constructed according to the rules of human-human interactions inviting users to interact socially with robots. Is there something morally wrong with deceiving humans into thinking they can foster meaningful interactions with a technological object? Or is this just a logical next step in our technological world? Would it be possible for people to treat robots as companions? What implications does this have on future generations, who will be growing up in the everyday presence of robots? Is companionship between humans and robots desirable? This paper fosters a discussion on the ethical considerations of human-robot relationships.