Can’t We All Just Get Along? With Robots #TCRobotics

Can’t We All Just Get Along?
with Anca Dragan (UC Berkeley),
Rana el Kaliouby (Affectiva), and
Matt Willis (Softbank Robotics)

Robots and humans are working and living together more than ever, and that means we have to watch out for one another – literally.

Robots will change how humans behave as well. There is a need for polite behavior between humans and robots. We are already seeing the evolution of our interactions with speaking assistance devices.

However, robots can achieve a deeper emotional connection with people because people can interact and connect with its movements and its form.

The mood of the human may require robots or self-driving cars to adapts its AI and its behavior.

Anca looks at behaviors and human-robot interaction by task but they are looking more toward emotional interaction.

Affectiva scans video and camera information to assess human emotional response to advertising, marketing and product interaction. They measure moment-by-moment emotional reactions to videos and ads, to improve digital content. Determine if viewers are confused or not engagement and improve the story arch, test the effectiveness of voice-overs with taglines, determine if the moment of brand reveal is impactful.

Affectiva is working to eliminate bias in their algorithms.

Matt talked about improving the interaction of the humanoid Pepper robot as its experience at retail settings.


Anca Dragan is an assistant professor at UC Berkeley’s EECS (Electric Engineering and Computer Sciences) department and head of the interACT lab. Professor Dragan focuses on human-robotic interaction across multiple applications. Her team explores the fields of autonomous vehicles, manufacturing and assistive robotics. Dragan is a co-founder of the Berkeley AI Research Lab and has received a Sloan Fellowship, MIT TR35, Okawa and NSF CAREER awards.

She runs the InterACT Lab, which has a focus on algorithms for human-robot interaction — algorithms that move beyond the robot’s function in isolation, and generate robot behavior that also accounts for interaction and coordination with end-users. They work across different applications, from assistive robots, to manufacturing, to autonomous cars, and draw from optimal control, planning, estimation, learning, and cognitive science.

Dr. Matt Willis is Head of Design and HRI at SoftBank Robotics America where he guides the team of designers, engineers and strategists in creating meaningful experiences for SoftBank’s robots. He focuses on human-centered design methodologies and brings both user and business value in the applications and interactions developed by him and his team. He has a PhD in Human Computer Interaction and has over a decade of experience building digital products that are focused on bringing value to the world.

A pioneer in artificial emotional intelligence (Emotion AI), Rana el Kaliouby, PhD, is co-founder and CEO of MIT spinoff and category-defining company Affectiva. Rana led the innovation of the company’s award-winning technology, which uses deep learning and massive amounts of data to analyze complex and nuanced emotions and cognitive states from face and voice, for industries like automotive, market research, HR video recruitment and mental health. Rana is now paving the way for Human Perception AI: software that can detect all things human, from nuanced human emotions and complex cognitive states, to behaviors, activities and the objects people use.

Rana holds a BSc and MSc in Computer Science from the American University in Cairo, a PhD from the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge and a Post Doctorate at MIT.

Rana is one of few women leading a disruptive AI company. A Muslim-American and passionate advocate, she frequently speaks in press and on stage about innovation, women in technology, ethics in AI and leadership. Forbes recently included Rana in their list of America’s Top 50 Women in Tech, Fortune Magazine included her in their 2018 40 under 40 and she was named one of the three Global Business pioneers by Bloomberg in 2017. Rana is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and a member of the Partnership on AI.

25% of Fortune Global 500 and 1,400+ brands and leading market research firms like Millward Brown, LRW, Added Value and Unruly, and brands like Mars, Kellogg’s and CBS, use Affectiva technology to measure consumer emotion responses to digital content, such as ads and TV programming.

SOURCE – Live coverage of panel discussion on human-robot interaction, Affectiva, youtube and internet info on panel speakers
Written By Brian Wang,