Elisabeth André Elisabeth André (Augsburg University/Germany)

Socially-Sensitive Technologies for Human-Robot Interaction

Abstract: Societal challenges, such as an ageing population, have created the need for a new generation of robots hat are able to smoothly interact with people in their daily environment. Such robots require a significant amount of social intelligence including the capability to be attentive to the user’s emotional state and respond to it appropriately. In the past ten years, a significant amount of effort has been dedicated to explore the potential of affective computing in human interaction with humanoid robots. On the one hand, robust techniques are researched that recognize emotional states from multi-sensory input, such as facial expressions, gestures and speech. On the other hand, mechanisms are under development that generate and display emotional states of robots, for example, by deformations of synthetic skin. In my talk, I will describe various computational approaches to implement empathic behaviors in a robot. Besides analytic approaches that are informed by theories from the cognitive and social sciences, I will discuss empirical approaches that enable a robot to learn empathic behaviors from recordings of human-human interactions or from life interactions with human interlocutors.

Bio: Elisabeth André is a full professor of Computer Science and Founding Chair of Human-Centered Multimedia at Augsburg University in Germany where she has been since 2001. She has multiple degrees in computer science from Saarland University, including a doctorate. Previously, she was a principal researcher at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH) in Saarbrücken. Elisabeth André has a long track record in multimodal human-machine interaction, social robotics, affective computing and social signal processing. Elisabeth André has served as a General and Program Co-Chair of major international conferences including ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI), ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces (ICMI) or International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS). In 2010, Elisabeth André was elected a member of the prestigious Academy of Europe, the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and AcademiaNet. To honor her achievements in bringing Artificial Intelligence techniques to HCI, she was awarded a EurAI fellowship (European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence) in 2013. Most recently, she was elected to the CHI Academy, an honorary group of leaders in the field of human-computer interaction.