Developing emotionally intelligent, creative robots

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About Developing emotionally intelligent, creative robots


|free text=}} 1. Developing emotionally intelligent, creative robots

Within the SELEMCA project that focuses on robots for care, an internship on developing emotionally intelligent, creative robots is available. In this internship, existing computational models are integrated. The internal logics will be proven by simulation experiments. If within the student’s reach, lab experiments are performed with real humans and/or working prototypes of applications are developed. Background of the SELEMCA project and the model follows next.

2. Services of Electro-Mechanical Care Agencies

SELEMCA (Services of Electro-Mechanical Care Agencies) is part of the national Crisp program to sustain the creative industries (e.g., arts, design, video, animation, games) with academic knowledge, tools, and methods so to come up with novel product-service combinations that boost the knowledge economy ( Research in SELEMCA focuses on three topics: Intelligence, Affect, and Creativity. Intelligence should be interpreted as both information and reasoning. Affect is limited to involvement-distance trade-offs, emotion generation and regulation. Creativity focuses on the process of insight, conceptual blending, and idea optimization. The application area and population under investigation are in the health domain, where we compare adolescents with the elderly. The aim is to keep patients empowered and self-supportive for as long as possible. The means are to develop technologies that behave as smart, sensitive, and ingenious humanoids. These agents, robots, avatars, coaches and so on work in interactive environments such as games, virtual reality, or inhabit augmented household objects (e.g., chairs, tables, and coffee machines). We cooperate in a consortium of academic, social, and business partners – of national as well as international origin.

3. How to be a friend: Silicon Coppélia

Silicon Coppélia is a software program that can simulate emotions and can regulate them as appropriate (e.g., Hoorn, Pontier, & Siddiqui, 2012). Coppélia simulates goal-related beliefs that give rise to affect. It simulates beliefs about the responsibility of other agencies (humans included) for helping or obstructing to arrive at a goal state. It also holds beliefs about the probability of achieving those goals. Coppélia has beliefs about the way the world is, which it holds for true. It also has beliefs that events influence certain states of the world. The beliefs and variables such as ethics, aesthetics, etc. govern the seven emotions that Coppélia can express: joy, distress, hope, fear, anger, guilt, and surprise. Silicon Coppélia can simulate emotions and changes of beliefs about the responsibility of other agents for her being happy or sad. The program moreover estimates the chance that goal-states may happen and can make irrational decisions when appropriate (e.g., “I should leave you now but I love you too much”).

Silicon Coppélia develops state predicates about the user (or any other agency) in a given situation and context. The features of the user are appraised for different aspects, such as ethics, aesthetics, etc. These features are compared with the personal goals of Coppélia, so that the user gains personal meaning for her. This way, the user becomes relevant to the Coppélia system, directing the intensity of her affective responses. The direction of Coppélia’s affect is regulated by valence. Perspective taking can be done through knowledge of the goals of others. This way, the goals of Coppélia can converge with those of the patient, caregiver, professional, or manager so that, for instance, she can coach the patient to keep his promise of doing daily exercises.

Through relevance, current, and future valence, appraisal frames are established that guide her intensions to use her (human) counterpart to achieve her goals (e.g., maintenance, winning a game, help the user). Appraisal frames also determine her friendliness towards the user (i.e. Coppélia’s involvement) balanced by distance. During affective decision making, Coppélia selects one of four actions from which she expects the highest satisfaction: positive approach (e.g., compliment the user), negative approach (e.g., criticize the user), change (e.g., instruct the user), or walk away. Coppélia’s affective decisions may change by modulating her responses.

4. How to be a creative problem solver: ACASIA

ACASIA is a general purpose functionality that solves problems in an unconventional way once the reasoning types of strategies run out of options. If it is advisable to take some medicine but the patient refuses to do so one could repeat the complete medical encyclopedia to argue why it is sensible to take it yet. Or after trying several times, one could break away from the conventional and turn the medicine into a tasty cookie.

ACASIA is a software capable of making creative combinations and optimizing the blend in relation to certain goals or concerns (Hoorn, 2002; Hoorn, submitted, Chapter 6). Two entities are drawn from a database with entities that are described by their features. There should be a minimal associative distance between those entities: Turning a pill into powder is not creative; turning a pill into a candy is mildly creative; turning a pill into a pencil that you can chew on is highly creative. Creativity increases as the entities lie associatively further away from each other.

In running ACASIA, robot helpers can do many suggestions for creative solutions ranging from hobby work (e.g., turn your hat into a lampshade) to health interventions (e.g., pill becomes chewable pencil). In combination with Silicon Coppélia, ACASIA may be helpful in doing creative therapy. Its success all depends on the richness of the database the software can work with. The more different things it knows, the most unforeseen associations it can make.

5. Other internships within the SELEMCA project

Within the SELEMCA project that focuses on robots for care, several other internships are also available:

• Developing creative robots: Computational ACASIA (creativity model)

• Developing robots that distinguish fiction from reality: Computational Epistemics of the Virtual (knowledge model of virtual encounters)

• Developing emotionally intelligent robots that stimulate autonomy: Integration of Silicon Coppélia (on emotion regulation) with model of Moral Autonomy

• Developing emotionally intelligent, creative robots: Integration of Silicon Coppélia with ACASIA model

• Explaining criminal behavior with a Moral Coppelia, a model of moral reasoning and affective decision making