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Giving More Human Touch to Conversational Agents

Scientists always look for discovering new Conversational agents so that they make the communication easier. Conversational agents, such as Alexa from Amazon, have now become a common name that can chat with us. 

Modern Robots, too, can have conversational abilities like that of Pepper by Softbank and Jibo by Jibo Inc. Robotics researchers try to make communication easier and smoother between robots and humans. They try to give the robots a human touch by putting human behavior in them like eye gaze and head tilt behaviors. Scientists from Ewha Womans University in Seoul and the Korean Institute of Robot and Convergence did an experiment by putting three robots in a dusty environment. Participants found the coughing robot as more humanlike and lifelike, than two other robots that did not react in this way. In another test three robots were running out of battery. One of them informed about the battery, the second robot didn’t react. The third robot made a reflexive body noise. The participants rated the third robot as more humanlike and more lifelike than other two. This study reflected that people consider robots that express physical reactions in the given situations as behaving more naturally than verbal communication or their no-reaction activity. The reason behind considering that is action speaks louder than words. The natural reaction made by those robots suggests that they are affected by the situation as a human would be in the similar situation.

By: Anita Aishvarya



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