How do you feel when you talk to a robot? This will be investigated this weekend at the Lowlands Festival near Biddinghuizen. During one experiment, VU University Amsterdam and Hogeschool Utrecht are investigating how people experience a conversation with a social robot.
“A social robot is specifically aimed at social interaction, such as a gentle conversation or spontaneous conversation,” says media psychology professor Eli Konigin. “A robot is a machine, and we want to explore how to make it social in a robot.” To do this, the researchers programmed all kinds of different conversations into the bot. Lowland visitors who want to participate in the research can have a conversation with such a bot, after which the conversations are analyzed.
According to researchers, social robots are playing an increasingly important role in our society. In order for the interaction between humans and robots to run smoothly, humans and robots need to understand each other, according to the research group. In the future, robots could be used in healthcare for people who are lonely or in schools.
The researchers are happy to be able to experiment at the festival. “At the university, everything is very controlled and perfect, and here there is a nice mess. You have people who automatically do all kinds of things with such a robot.” If social robots are used in the future, for example in healthcare, they will also have to operate in spontaneous situations.
On August 19, 20 and 21 between 12:00 and 20:00, the University and College team will be at the Lowlands Science location. A presentation on the research will also be given on Saturday.
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