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Alone Together: Human-Robot Interaction


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Guest lecture for TCSS 452 (Human-Computer Interaction) at University of Washington, Tacoma, on Sherry Turkle's book, Alone Together, and the broader theme of human-robot interaction

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Alone Together: Human-Robot Interaction

  1. 1. Alone Together:Human-Robot Interaction<br />Guest LectureConversationTCSS 452: Human-Computer Interaction<br />Joe McCarthy<br />
  2. 2. Sherry Turkle<br />May 2009<br />October 2008<br />May 2008<br />August 2007<br /><br />
  3. 3. An Evolutionary Trilogy<br />1984<br />2005<br />2011<br />
  4. 4. Themes<br />Self<br />Solitude<br />Substitution<br />Safety<br />Salvation<br />salve: “a remedial or soothinginfluence or agency”<br /><br />
  5. 5. The Robotic Moment<br />Rebecca (daughter, 14): “They could have used a robot.”<br /><br />
  6. 6. Don’t Get Angry, …<br />Write a book<br />Write a letter to the editor<br />Write a blog post<br />Write a law<br />Write a program<br />Create a company<br />“Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch.”<br />
  7. 7. The one common thread throughout Tobias' entrepreneurial journey: a healthy dose of anger. With ImperiumRenewables, Tobias was "personally pissed at the climate damage that oil companies were doing,” he says. “When I started Kashless, I was personally pissed that my friends in the local bar and restaurant business didn’t have effective ways to use the Internet to get people to walk in the door to their businesses. I’m saving small businesses that are run by my friends. That’s an incredibly personal thing.”<br />That kind of righteous fury, according to Tobias, is the secret to any startup. “Find a problem that personally pisses you off and solve it, and you’ll be a good entrepreneur," he says. "The day that I wake up and I don’t have a hard problem to solve, I will stop being an entrepreneur."<br /><br />
  8. 8. Irritation-based Design?<br />
  9. 9.<br />Irritation-based Design?<br />Technology First, Needs Last: The Research-Product GulfDon Norman<br />I’ve come to a disconcerting conclusion: Design research is great when it comes to improving existing product categories, but essentially useless when it comes to breakthroughs. I reached this conclusion through examining of a range of product innovations, most especially looking at those major conceptual breakthroughs that have had a huge impact upon society as well as the more common, mundane, small, continual improvements. Call one a conceptual breakthrough, the other incremental. Although we would prefer to believe conceptual breakthroughs occur because of a detailed consideration of human needs, especially fundamental but unspoken hidden needs so beloved by the design research community, the fact is that it simply doesn’t happen.<br />
  10. 10. Sherry Turkle’s Irritation<br />“Does virtual intimacy degrade our experience of the other kind and, indeed, of all encounters, of any kind?”<br />
  11. 11. Milo, via Microsoft Kinect<br />Peter Molyneaux, Lionhead Studios<br />“I'd like you to meet a boy named Milo. He's a character that recognize us, he can recognize our faces, he can recognize our voices, he can recognize emotions in our us.”<br /><br />
  12. 12. Project Milo<br />John Dower (director):<br />“My approach throughout this project was to use cinematic techniques to express Milo's emotional state in order to evoke an empathetic reaction from the player.”<br /><br />
  13. 13. Paro<br /><br />
  14. 14. Tamagotchi<br /><br />
  15. 15. Tamagotchi<br />Upon removing the tag of a Tamagotchi unit, an egg will appear on the screen. After setting the Tamagotchi unit's clock, the Tamagotchi will hatch after several seconds, after which the player will be told of its gender and will be given the opportunity to give it a name, which can be 5 to 8 characters in length. From then on, the player is given the task of raising the Tamagotchi to good health throughout its life and attending to its needs, such as feeding it, playing games to make the Tamagotchi happy and keep it at a healthy weight, cleaning up its excrement, punishing or praising the Tamagotchi based on its actions, returning it to proper health with medicine if it gets sick, and shutting off the lights when it goes to bed. If the Tamagotchi is left uncared for, it will soon result in the death of the Tamagotchi.<br />As time passes, the Tamagotchi will evolve through various stages (Baby, Toddler/Child, Teenager, Adult, and Senior), the results varying based on the gender of the Tamagotchi, its current generation, and on the player's actions. A Tamagotchi that has been cared for well enough will result in a better and a well-mannered Tamagotchi, while excessive poor care will instead result in a Tamagotchi that requires much more attention and often does not behave well. Upon reaching a specific age and friendship level with another Tamagotchi, the player's Tamagotchi will be able to mate with another Tamagotchi of the opposite gender, usually arranged by an elderly Tamagotchiknown as "the Matchmaker" or "Mrs. Busybody". Once the two Tamagotchis mate successfully, the female produces two infant Tamagotchis, one which is kept by the father, and the other by the mother. After 24 hours pass, the parent leaves the baby, starting a brand new generation.<br /><br />
  16. 16. Furby<br /><br />
  17. 17. Furby<br />Furbies can communicate with one another via an infrared port located between their eyes. Furbies start out speaking entirely Furbish, a language with short words, simple syllables, and various other sounds. They are programmed, however, to speak less and less Furbish and more and more English as they "grow".<br />There was a common misconception that they repeated words that were said around them. This belief most likely stemmed from the fact that it is possible to have the Furby say certain pre-programmed words or phrases more often by petting it whenever it said these words. As a result of this myth, several intelligence agencies banned them from their offices.<br />The latest species of Furby was released in August 2005. Larger than the previous version, the new Furbies have been upgraded with a more emotional face and a voice recognition system, enabling them to communicate with humans. Unlike the Furbies originally released, just one order is necessary to make them 'sleep', and they have an on/off switch. They can communicate with other Emoto-tronicFurbies, though to a lesser extent than the communication between original Furbies, and they cannot themselves communicate with the original Furbies nor Funky Furbies. They also lack light sensors and basic motion sensors and do not respond to loud sounds as the originals do. These Furbies, according to the story they come packed with, are from Furby Island.<br /><br /><br />
  18. 18. January 14, 2011<br />Programmed for Love<br />In a skeptical turn, MIT ethnographer Sherry Turkle warns of the dangers of social technology<br />One day during Turkle's study at MIT, Kismet malfunctioned. A 12-year-old subject named Estelle became convinced that the robot had clammed up because it didn't like her, and she became sullen and withdrew to load up on snacks provided by the researchers. The research team held an emergency meeting to discuss "the ethics of exposing a child to a sociable robot whose technical limitations make it seem uninterested in the child," as Turkle describes in Alone Together. "Can a broken robot break a child?" they asked. "We would not consider the ethics of having children play with a damaged copy of Microsoft Word or a torn Raggedy Ann doll. But sociable robots provoke enough emotion to make this ethical question feel very real."<br />Kismet<br /><br />
  19. 19. The Turing Test<br /><br />
  20. 20.<br />Round 1 (Mon):<br />Watson: $5,000<br />Rutter: $5,000<br />Jennings: $2,000<br />Round 2 (Tue):<br />Watson: $35,734<br />Rutter: $10,400<br />Jennings: $ 4,800<br />Round 3 (Wed):<br />Watson: $77,147<br />Rutter: $24,000<br />Jennings: $21,600<br />IBM’s DeepQA (Watson) on Jeopardy!<br />
  21. 21. Watson on Capitol Hill<br /><br />
  22. 22. IBM’s DeepBlue vs. Kasparov<br />11 February 1996<br /><br />
  23. 23. The Turkle Test<br />Kismet and Cog are designed to mimic genuine body language. As such, they represent a kind of complementary Turing test. The original test was to see if a human could distinguish between conversation with a human and an A.I. by chatting over a computer terminal. The Turkle test, as we might call it, would be the ability to form a genuine relationship with a human – to show concern, to mirror emotion, to recognize the other self. The Turing test tells us if an A.I. can think like a human, the Turkle test tells us if an A.I. can communicate like a human.<br /><br /><br />
  24. 24. The Risks of Disappointment<br />“People make too many demands; robot demands would be of a more manageable sort. People disappoint; robots will not.”<br />“We're setting ourselves up for disappointment, because these robots will disappoint us if we're looking for real human connection.”<br /><br />
  25. 25. Love + Sex with Robots<br /><br />
  26. 26.
  27. 27. Lars & the Real Girl<br /><br />
  28. 28. Approximately human<br /><br /><br />Several more videos onHanson Robotics homepage:<br /><br />
  29. 29. The Media Equation<br />The Media Equation, 1996<br />Authors Reeves and Nass present the results of numerous psychological studies that led them to the conclusion that people treat computers, television and new media as real people and places. Their studies show that people are polite to computers; that they treat computers with female voices differently than male-voiced computers; that large faces on a screen can invade a person's body space; and that motion on a screen affects physical responses in the same way that real-life motion does. One of their startling conclusions is that the human brain has not evolved quickly enough to assimilate twentieth-century technology.<br /><br />
  30. 30. Sherry Turkle’s Irritation<br />“Does virtual intimacy degrade our experience of the other kind and, indeed, of all encounters, of any kind?”<br />
  31. 31.<br />
  32. 32. Blackberry Crackberry<br /><br />
  33. 33. Online  Offline<br /><br />
  34. 34. We often think of immersive computer and videogames—like "FarmVille," "Guitar Hero" and "World of Warcraft"—as "escapist," a kind of passive retreat from reality. Many critics consider such games a mind-numbing waste of time, if not a corrupting influence. But the truth about games is very nearly the opposite. In today's society, they consistently fulfill genuine human needs that the real world fails to satisfy. More than that, they may prove to be a key resource for solving some of our most pressing real-world problems. …<br />Gamers want to know: Where in the real world is the gamer's sense of being fully alive, focused and engaged in every moment? The real world just doesn't offer up the same sort of carefully designed pleasures, thrilling challenges and powerful social bonding that the gamer finds in virtual environments. Reality doesn't motivate us as effectively. Reality isn't engineered to maximize our potential or to make us happy.<br />… games consistently provide us with the four ingredients that make for a happy and meaningful life: satisfying work, real hope for success, strong social connections and the chance to become a part of something bigger than ourselves. … We get these benefits from our real lives sometimes, but we get them almost every time we play a good game<br /><br />
  35. 35. Online  Offline?<br />
  36. 36.<br />
  37. 37. Themes<br />Self<br />Solitude<br />Substitution<br />Safety<br />Salvation<br />salve: “a remedial or soothinginfluence or agency”<br /><br />
  38. 38. Natural Born Cyborgs<br />An extended (& extensive)sense of self<br />
  39. 39. There are three main components of the looking-glass self (Yeung, et al. 2003).<br /> 1. We imagine how we must appear to others.<br /> 2. We imagine the judgment of that appearance.<br /> 3. We develop our self through the judgments of others.<br />The Looking Glass Self<br /><br />
  40. 40. Thanks, & have your selves a nice day!<br />