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Conference paper Open Access

Can Robots Impact Human Comfortability During a Live Interview?

Redondo, Maria Elena Lechuga; Sciutti, Alessandra; Incao, Sara; Rea, Francesco; Niewiadomski, Radoslaw

Interaction among humans does not always proceed without errors; situations might happen in which a wrong word or attitude can cause the partner to feel uneasy. However, humans are often very sensitive to these interaction failures and may be able to fix them.

Our research aims to endow robots with the same skill. Thus the first step, presented in this short paper, investigates to what extent a humanoid robot can impact someone’s Comfortability in a realistic setting. To capture natural reactions, a set of real interviews performed by the humanoid robot iCub (acting as the interviewer) were organized. The interviews were designed in collaboration with a journalist from the press office of our institution and are meant to appear on the official institutional online magazine. The dialogue along with fluent human-like robotic actions were chosen not only to gather information about the participants’ personal interests and professional career, necessary for the magazine column, but also to influence their Comfortability.

Once the experiment is completed, the participants’ self-report and spontaneous reactions (physical and physiological cues) will be explored to tackle the way people’s Comfortability may be manifested through non-verbal cues, and the way it may be impacted by the humanoid robot.

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