/AI-Enabled Laughing Robots are No Joke

AI-Enabled Laughing Robots are No Joke

Key idea:  Robot endowed by AI with conversational laughter improves perceived empathy.

Original author and publication date: Camo Rosso (Psychology Today) – September 19, 2022

Futurizonte Editor’s Note: It reminds me of an episode of Star Trek TNG when Data, the android, wants to understand humor before an audience preprogramed to laugh at his jokes.

From the article:   

Laughter is a nonverbal vocal expression that plays an important role in social situations and transcends cultural boundaries.

Artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning is rapidly being explored as a powerful tool to enable robots to interact with humans for a variety of purposes. A new study published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI unveils a shared laughter generation AI system that enables a robot to share a laugh with a human for greater perceived empathetic conversational interaction.

“We propose that our system can be used for situated robot interaction and also emphasize the need for integrating proper empathetic laughs into conversational robots and agents,” wrote the lead author Dr. Koji Inoue, Assistant Professor at Kyoto University, along with his research colleagues.

The three AI models that comprise the solution were a laugh detector, a shared laughter predictor, and a laugh type selector. Each of these models was trained using data from a human-robot speed dating conversation database.

The scientists used data from over 80 speed dating dialogues between Kyoto University male students and a remote control robot called ERICA teleoperated by one of four amateur actresses who were in a different room while communicating through the android’s speaker. ERICA is also capable of non-verbal communication such as eye gaze, gestures, and nodding the head. The participants tried to get to know each other via friendly dialogue lasting 10-15 minutes.

READ the full article here