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Likewise, it is not possible to associate a publication or patent with any particular supplement to a research project or a particular subproject of a multi-project grant. Support provided by:. Previous Project. Project Information. Revise Query Search Results.

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Project of 1,, Project Number: Abstract Text:. This project will investigate people's social and moral relationships with personified robots. These robots, in various ways and to varying degrees, embody aspects of people insofar as they have a persona, are adaptive and autonomous, and can talk, learn, use natural cues, and self organize. This project will complete five complementary investigations: 1 Research on whether adults believe that a humanoid robot has feelings, is intelligent, can be a friend, is autonomous, and has moral standing i. Taken together, this body of work would provide for the first time a systematic account of social and moral behavior and reasoning with a humanoid robot that cuts across childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.

Gunderson, James P.

In terms of basic science, this project will test the hypothesis that people do not simply act "as if " personified robots are social like "characters" in a play , but engage personified robots sincerely and meaningfully as social others, and in some ways even as moral others. At the same time, this project would determine the extent to which human-robot interaction is not simply the mapping of human-human interactions or human-animal interactions onto robots, but represents a new genre: technological yet animate, personified, responsive, and seemingly autonomous.

As personified robots become more prevalent and integrated into people's everyday social lives, they will pose children and adults with significant challenges, socially and morally. The specific challenges will depend on how the robots are designed, their context of use, and on how people actually interact with such robots.

In future, robots may become caretaking assistants for the elderly, academic tutors for children, or medical assistants, day care assistants, or psychological counselors. Thus, it is important to understand at the outset how different age groups respond to robots and conceptualize their increasingly complex behavior. It is likely in the near future that the public will raise serious concerns about the introduction of personified robots into society.

Concerns may be voiced, for example, that interacting with personified robots will reify a master-servant relationship with the robot as servant , or undermine authenticity of real social relationships. While the Introduction is never enacted exactly the same way twice, the activity is structured, it follows a recognizable pattern.

And this pattern is but one of many that can be used to help structure human-robot interaction. Information technologies often support or undermine enduring human values, and sometimes both at the same time. For example, surveillance cameras in public venues such as in banks, malls, and airports increase individual and sometimes national security, but often at the expense of individual privacy. Or large linked medical databases increase efficiency of information flow but can infringe on the trust between patient and doctor. In response to such problems, system designers and researchers from fields within Information and Computer Science have focused on such values as physical and psychological wellbeing, intellectual property, universal usability, freedom from bias, privacy, trust, informed consent, moral responsibility, honesty, productivity, and democracy.

However, despite the increasing interest in values and system design — and its importance to society at large — there remains a need for an overarching theoretical and methodological framework by which to handle the value dimensions of design work. Over the last eight years, a potentially viable approach has been emerging, called Value Sensitive Design. Value Sensitive Design integrates and iteratively applies three types of investigations: conceptual, empirical, and technical, and seeks to account for human values in a principled manner throughout the design process.

The purpose of this project is to extend and validate Value Sensitive Design on a large scale.

Specifically, we propose to apply Value Sensitive Design to hard but tractable problems across five research strands. Research within each of the five strands provides stand-alone contributions to their respective fields. In addition, we will conduct overarching analyses such that Value Sensitive Design can make progress on the following hard but tractable problems: developing the integrative and iterative methodology; handling diverse values particularly when values come into conflict within single systems ; handling diverse populations and technologies; accounting for cultural diversity; adapting to an industry context; providing metrics and techniques for evaluating the value-oriented features of information systems; and providing means to transfer the methodology to others in academia and industry.

In short, we seek outcomes that contribute meaningfully to society at large not only within each of our five research strands, but in terms of establishing a new value-sensitive approach to system design. A large body of diverse research shows that direct experiences with nature have beneficial effects on people's physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. For example, studies have shown that even minimal connection with nature — such as looking at a natural landscape — can reduce immediate and long-term stress, reduce sickness of prisoners, and calm patients before and during surgery.

Or imagine working in a windowless office that includes a high resolution window-sized plasma display that shows a real-time view of a beautiful local nature area. Such technological augmentations form part of the field of augmented reality — the linking of computation, people, and physical objects and environments. Yet as promising as it appears, and as pervasive as it will probably become, important questions about augmentations of the natural world need to be answered.

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Namely, is it the case that through such augmentations we can achieve similar psychological effects to their non-augmented natural counterparts? If so, then technology will provide a powerful and pervasive means to foster human well-being: of children, the elderly, and the general population. Or is it the case that in some ways, perhaps many ways, augmented reality of the natural world falls short? Our project represents an early, cohesive, and rigorous effort to answer these questions from the approach of Value-Sensitive Design — an emerging field that seeks to design technology that accounts for human values in a principled and comprehensive manner throughout the design process.

At the heart of our project lies five empirical studies. Study 5 involves telepresence a telegarden. As a group, these technologies represent a variety of approaches to augmented reality, including a range of user interaction from the one-way information flow of real-time video to highly interactive personal embodied agents.


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Moreover, all five studies involve cutting edge technology that will likely be deployed on a large scale within five years, and build on an existing non-augmented reality literature that suggests that at least some positive effects could be anticipated by means of the technological augmentations. In each study, we will collect a diverse range of psychological data: physiological, behavioral, and social-cognitive.

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Each of the five studies can stand alone, and will be analyzed individually. In addition, we will conduct an overarching analysis that brings together all five studies to focus on human values that emerge across a range of augmentations. We anticipate that such values will include psychological well-being, physical well-being, trust, democracy, privacy, ownership and property, moral reciprocity, and environmental sustainability.

Our overarching analysis will lead to a comprehensive account of the effects of computer augmented interactions on the human experience of nature, and to an ethical framework for designing and deploying this technology. Taken together, our findings will have will have broad implications. One of the most important benefits is that we will know more about the value-oriented physiological, behavioral, and social-cognitive effects of the technology before the technology diffuses into the marketplace.

Robots, Reasoning, and Reification