Institutionen för Humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap

Humans and Robots Together: Engineering sociality and collaboration

12 december 2019 13:00 – 14:00 Hörsal BIO, Forumhuset, Örebro univetsitet

Porträtt på Ana Paiva.

a CREA public talk by Ana Paiva

Robots are entering not only our workplace but also our homes. Research in human-robot interaction (HRI) is growing exponentially, with many systems and studies evaluating the acceptance of robots in different contexts and among different populations.

Robots are now perceived as machines that not only will support humans in specific tasks, but will also complement them in activities that humans cannot perform. As such, robots will have to act autonomously, performing complex tasks in an intelligent way, as well as be able to interact with humans, adapt to them and perform activities together as team members.

One of the challenges that AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robotics face nowadays is how to create social AI and social robotics that interact with humans in an engaging, natural, and most importantly “ humane” way, recognizing and respecting human values and social norms. To do that, researchers must develop new models, new algorithms and new techniques that will endow our machines with social competencies. This requires an understanding of people and their goals and emotions as well as the surrounding context, including the social context.

In this talk I will argue that, for building successful, human-robot interactions that respect moral and social values and are able to collaborate with humans in a natural way, robots must be endowed with social and emotional processing, and be able to respond to the humans and adapt to their environmental and social context.

I will therefore overview this new challenging research area and present some application cases borrowed from educational and entertainment robotics, where empathy, group awareness and adaptation have been explored to deepen the relation between humans and social robots.

Presentation Ana Paiva

Ana Paiva is a Full Professor in the Department of Computer Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) from the University of Lisbon and is also the Coordinator of GAIPS – “Group on AI for People and Society” at INESC-ID.  Her group investigates the creation of complex systems using an agent-based approach, with a special focus on social agents.

Prof. Paiva’s main research focuses on the problems and techniques for creating social agents that can simulate human-like behaviours, be transparent, natural and eventually, give the illusion of life. Over the years she has addressed this problem by engineering agents that exhibit specific social capabilities, including emotions, personality, culture, non-verbal behaviour, empathy, collaboration, and others.

Her main contributions in the area of social agents have been in the field of embodied conversational agents, multi-agent systems, affective computing and social robotics.

  • She was the PI of several projects in the area of social and virtual agents, in particular the the LIREC-“Living with Robots and Interactive Companions”, (2008-2012), Ecute (2010-2013), SIREN (2010-2013), GALA (2010-2014), SEMIRA (2011-2013) and EMOTE “”Embodied Perceptive Tutors for Empathy-based Learning”.
  • She has received best paper awards in many conferences, in particular she won the first prize of the Blue Sky Awards at the AAAI in New Orleans, 2018.
  • She has further advanced the area of artificial intelligence and social agents worldwide, having served for the Global Agenda Council in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics of the World Economic Forum (2014-2016) and as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Science Europe (2016-2018).
  • She is an EuroAI fellow.


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