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Long-Term Human-Robot Bonding

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

4:00 PM-5:30 PM

BIOMED Seminar

Long-Term Human-Robot Bonding

Ewart de Visser, PhD
Scientific Director
Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center
United States Air Force Academy

With the proliferation of consumer social robotics strongly underway, a key challenge is to create robots that can engage in long-term sustained social interaction. Some social robots have already failed to meet this expectation while new robots have emerged to meet this challenge. Indeed, research has already shown a major expectation gap between what capabilities are expected and those that are actually delivered to the consumer.

The research discussed here proposes to identify a set of capabilities that a social robot must have to engage in long-term social interaction and bonding. We define bonding as the development of a close friendship, strong comradery, or deep affiliation between members of the same group. Currently, most researchers use a limited, piece-meal approach and focus either on only one social dimension or lump them together with a term called “human-likeness." A comprehensive approach is needed that specifies a predictive ontology of the social dimensions and their relevance to creating the most resilient long-term team relationships between humans and robots. In this talk, I will outline challenges and approaches to long-term bonding with social robots that will provide a guide to future research in this area.

Ewart de Visser, PhD, currently serves as the scientific director for the Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center at the United States Air Force Academy. He is an affiliated faculty of George Mason University and Clemson University. Dr. de Visser is also the founder and president of de Visser Research, LLC. Previously, Dr. de Visser worked for 11 years at Perceptronics Solutions, Inc (2005-2016), where he served as the Director of Human Factors and User Experience Research and created robotic interfaces and displays, produced mobile experiences and visualizations in the areas of emergency medicine, stress training, and cyber security, and applied the use of multi-agent systems to manage multiple mixed initiative human-robot teams.

In the area of Human-Robot Interaction, Dr. de Visser published peer-reviewed papers on the measurement of trust in robotics, adaptive human-robot teaming, human-automation etiquette, and virtual agent anthropomorphism. Dr. de Visser has explored human-automation trust from different theoretical perspectives—cognitive, social, and neural and has published numerous papers on the measurement of trust in robotics, adaptive human-robot teaming, human-automation etiquette, and virtual agent anthropomorphism.

Dr. de Visser received his PhD in applied cognitive psychology from George Mason University and his BA in Film Studies from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He also received his propedeuse in Cognitive Artificial Intelligence (CKI) from Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

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