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Embodied Empathic Agents - Just What Tutoring Systems Need?

Ruth Aylett
Professor of Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK


Newell-Simon Hall 1305 (Michael Mauldin Auditorium)

Video link


Embodied empathic agents are characters that, by their actions and behaviours, are able to show empathy (or not) for other characters; and/or characters that, by their appearance, situation, and behaviour, are able to trigger empathic reactions in the user.

In this talk we discuss the theory behind Embodied Empathic Agents ­whether graphical or robotic­ what we can do now, and what open research questions remain. What are the key theoretical and technological advances already made, and which are still needed? Are Empathic Agents good in tutorial applications, or are there problematic issues?  How do we know?

We use the recent EMOTE project which involved building an empathic robot tutor as a case study in exploring these issues.

Speaker's Bio

Professor Aylett researches affective agent architectures, intelligent graphical characters and social robots among other topics. She has led and taken part in a succession of mostly European-funded projects in these areas, with a number of educational applications, such as the FearNot! anti-bullying system, the Traveller system for teaching inter-cultural sensitive, and the EMOTE empathic robot tutor. She has implemented a number of cognitively-inspired architectures and explores middle-out approaches in which goal-directed and sensor-directed components can work together to combine direction with responsiveness in intelligent agents. She has around 250 per-reviewed publications in these areas.

Speaker's Website

Amy Ogan