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Human-Robot Interaction Prof in Christian Science Monitor

Info Sci Field Faculty Guy Hoffman shares his insight with the Christian Science Monitor on how robots have the capability to evoke human emotions, but actually connecting with humans is a much larger challenge. The jumping-off point is Toyota Motor's new robotic companion, Kirobo Mini, which is designed to trigger a maternal response from its owner. The question is: Can people interact and connect with a robot baby? Not necessarily, Hoffman explains.

“Technology definitely has the capability to evoke human emotions and behaviors,” Hoffman said, “but there’s still a big difference between that and the way we relate to other humans.”

Hoffman then lays out two studies he and his colleagues explored regarding human-robot interaction, suggesting that a robot's behavior toward us can evoke some of the same psychological effects as a human's.

"Robots can affect how we feel about ourselves and how we behave,” Hoffman said.