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How to Make (robot) Friends and Influence People

By Technology Review

May 8, 2009

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A team from the Interactive Robots and Media Lab at the United Arab Emirates University has created a robot with its own Facebook page in an effort to enable the robot to build stronger connections with humans. The robot is able to use information gathered from its network of shared friends in conversations with humans. However, the robot will need to have an understanding of the emotional state of the friends it meets and empathize with them, a task that is not always easy even for humans.

Nikolaos Mavridis and colleagues could build on the way the developers of the chatbot ELIZA had the program repeat general leading questions back to conversational partners in order to show empathy and compassion. The researchers plan to implement their program in a robot called IbnSina, although humanoids can generate a feeling of revulsion in humans.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA

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