Artificial emotional intelligence could change senior users’ perceptions of social robots

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February 23, 2022
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Credit score: Abdollahi et al.

Socially assistive robots (SARS) are a category of robotic methods particularly designed to assist weak or older customers to finish on a regular basis actions. Along with growing their independence, these robots may stimulate customers mentally and supply fundamental emotional assist.

To assist customers most successfully, nevertheless, these robots ought to be capable of interact in significant social interactions, figuring out the feelings of customers and responding appropriately to them. This might finally improve the customers’ belief within the robots, whereas additionally selling their emotional wellbeing.
Researchers at College of Denver, DreamFace Applied sciences, and College of Colorado have just lately carried out a small pilot examine geared toward exploring how the perceptions of older adults utilizing socially change relying on whether or not these robots have a synthetic emotional intelligence or not. Their findings, printed in IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, recommend that senior adults are inclined to understand robots programmed to behave extra empathically as extra partaking and likable.
The researchers carried out their examine on 10 older adults residing at Eaton Senior Communities, an impartial senior care facility in Lakewood, Colorado. The contributors had been requested to work together with a socially assistive created by DreamFace Applied sciences referred to as Ryan, and subsequently share their suggestions and perceptions. The researchers used two totally different variations of the robotic, one exhibiting empathic conduct and the opposite having no responses to a person’s feelings.
“The empathic Ryan makes use of a multimodal emotion recognition algorithm and a multimodal emotion expression system,” Hojjat Abdollahi and his colleagues defined of their paper. “Utilizing totally different enter modalities for emotion (i.e., facial features and speech sentiment), the empathic Ryan detects customers’ emotional state and makes use of an affective dialog supervisor to generate a response. However, the non-empathic Ryan lacks facial features and makes use of scripted dialogs that don’t issue within the customers’ emotional state.”
Throughout the researchers’ experiments, the ten senior contributors had been requested to work together with Ryan twice per week and for quarter-hour, over three consecutive weeks. The contributors had been randomly assigned to 2 teams. Whereas all contributors interacted with each variations of Ryan, the order during which they interacted with them diverse.
Customers had been requested to fee their temper on a scale of 0 to 10 each earlier than and after they interacted with Ryan. As well as, the researchers interviewed particular person contributors and requested them to finish a survey after finishing the examine.
After they analyzed the info they collected, Abdollahi and his colleagues discovered that the customers had benefitted from interacting with each the empathic and non-empathic social robotic. Nonetheless, the suggestions shared in exit surveys means that customers perceived the empathic Ryan as extra partaking and likable.
Sooner or later, the findings gathered by this crew of researchers may pave the best way for brand spanking new research with larger samples of contributors, additional assessing the results of synthetic emotional intelligence on how customers understand social robots. As well as, their work may encourage extra roboticists to develop strategies that improve the power of socially assistive robots to gauge human feelings and adapt their or interplay model accordingly.

A new model to synthesize emotional speech for companion robots

Extra info:
Hojjat Abdollahi et al, Synthetic Emotional Intelligence in Socially Assistive Robots for Older Adults: A Pilot Examine, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing (2022). DOI: 10.1109/TAFFC.2022.3143803

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