A few interesting articles came out today touching on the importance of the social aspect in human-Robot Interaction:
An interview with Anca Dragan, from UC Berkeley: Keeping Robots Friendly: Meet The Woman Teaching AI About Human Values where she talks about how the interaction between a robot learner and a human teacher/designer can be used to improve the robot’s objective. One way to perhaps avoid the paperclip-apocalypse that @Ben seems so worried about.
A discussion of some work from the University of New South Wales: Social robot set to revolutionise workplace experience with a telling quote of “Our main goal is to make a companion for humans… I think one of the differentiators will be understanding the person’s emotional requirements and acting not in a physical way, but in a subtle way that facilitates positive arousal… we want to create a heartful robot,” Dr. Thapliya said.
And an interview with Guy Hoffman, from Cornell: Building a Robotic Colleague With Personality where he points out that “Robots have the capacity to affect our behavior emotionally in that they’re using a physical body, they’re sharing space with us, they’re moving in our surroundings.”
All touch on the need for robots to be more than just functional automata, doing exactly what they’re told. Instead, the robots of the future need to think about and interact with humans as humans, and relate to them accordingly.