Affective Goal and Task Selection for Social Robots

Affective Goal and Task Selection for Social Robots

Matthias Scheutz (Indiana University, USA) and Paul Schermerhorn (Indiana University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-354-8.ch005
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Effective decision-making under real-world conditions can be very difficult as purely rational methods of decision-making are often not feasible or applicable. Psychologists have long hypothesized that humans are able to cope with time and resource limitations by employing affective evaluations rather than rational ones. In this chapter, we present the distributed integrated affect cognition and reflection architecture DIARC for social robots intended for natural human-robot interaction and demonstrate the utility of its human-inspired affect mechanisms for the selection of tasks and goals. Specifically, we show that DIARC incorporates affect mechanisms throughout the architecture, which are based on “evaluation signals” generated in each architectural component to obtain quick and efficient estimates of the state of the component, and illustrate the operation and utility of these mechanisms with examples from human-robot interaction experiments.
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Effective decision-making under real-world conditions can be very difficult. From a purely decision-theoretic standpoint, the optimal way of making decisions – rational choice – requires an agent to know the utilities of all choice options as well as their associated likelihoods of succeeding for the agent to be able to calculate the expected utility of each alternative and being able to select the one with the maximum utility. Unfortunately, such rational methods are in practice often not applicable (e.g., because the agent does not have reliable or sufficient knowledge) or feasible (e.g., because it is too time-consuming to perform all necessary calculations).

Psychologists have long hypothesized that humans are able to cope with time, knowledge and other resource limitations by employing affective evaluations (Clore et al., 2001) rather than rational ones. For affect provides fast, low-cost (although often less accurate) mechanisms for estimating the value of an object, event, or situation for an agent, as opposed to longer, more complex and more computationally intensive cognitive evaluations (e.g., to compute the expected utilities) (Kahneman et al., 1997). Humans also rely on affective memory, which seems to encode implicit knowledge about the likelihood of occurrence of a positive or negative future event (Blaney, 1986). Finally, affect also influences human problem-solving and reasoning strategies, leading to global, top-down approaches when affect is positive, and local, bottom-up approaches when affect is negative (Bless et al., 1996).

For (autonomous) social robots that are supposed to interact with humans in natural ways in typically human environments, affect mechanisms are doubly important. For one, such robots will also have to find fast solutions to many of the same kids of difficult problems that humans ordinarily face, often with the same degree of uncertainty–if not more. Hence, affect mechanisms in robotic architectures might help robots cope better with the intrinsic resource limitations of the real world. The second reason why affect mechanisms are essential for social robots is grounded in their intended role as social agents interacting with humans. For those interactions to be natural (and effective), robots need to be sensitive to human affect, both in its various forms of expression and in its role in human social interactions.

We have started to address affect mechanisms that can serve both functions in our DIARC architecture (Scheutz et al., 2006, Scheutz et al., 2007). DIARC is a “distributed integrated affect cognition and reflection” architecture particularly intended for social robots that need to interact with humans in natural ways. It integrates cognitive capabilities (such as natural language understanding and complex action planning and sequencing) (Scheutz et al., 2007, Scheutz et al., 2004, Brick and Scheutz 2007) with lower level activities (such as multi-modal perceptual processing, feature detection and tracking, and navigation and behavior coordination, e.g., see Scheutz et al., 2004, or Scheutz and Andronache 2004) and has been used in several human subject experiments and at various AAAI robot competitions (Scheutz et al., 2005, Scheutz et al., 2006, Schermerhorn et al., 2008, Schermerhorn et al., 2006). Most importantly, DIARC incorporates affect mechanisms throughout the architecture, which are based on “evaluation signals” generated in each architectural component, which effectively encode how “good” something (e.g., the current state of the world) is from the perspective of the component.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Affect: stating how emotions moves us in order to start actions action selection, Procedures to decide which action is more proper to a certain context goal management, Procedures and algorithms to sort the goals on a system according to the priorities that emerge from the context affective architecture, Constructing systems able to take decision based on simulations of the affective processes human-robot interaction Discipline that studies how humans and robots can interact, and finding ways to improve this interaction.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Craig DeLancey
Jordi Vallverdú, David Casacuberta
Chapter 1
Oscar Deniz, Javier Lorenzo, Mario Hernández, Modesto Castrillón
Social intelligence seems to obviously require emotions. People have emotions, recognize them in others and also express them. A wealth of... Sample PDF
Emotional Modeling in an Interactive Robotic Head
Chapter 2
Cyril Laurier, Perfecto Herrera
Creating emotionally sensitive machines will significantly enhance the interaction between humans and machines. In this chapter we focus on enabling... Sample PDF
Automatic Detection of Emotion in Music: Interaction with Emotionally Sensitive Machines
Chapter 3
Christoph Bartneck, Michael J. Lyons
The human face plays a central role in most forms of natural human interaction so we may expect that computational methods for analysis of facial... Sample PDF
Facial Expression Analysis, Modeling and Synthesis: Overcoming the Limitations of Artificial Intelligence with the Art of the Soluble
Chapter 4
Sajal Chandra Banik, Keigo Watanabe, Maki K. Habib, Kiyotaka Izumi
Multi-robot team work is necessary for complex tasks which cannot be performed by a single robot. To get the required performance and reliability... Sample PDF
Multirobot Team Work with Benevolent Characters: The Roles of Emotions
Chapter 5
Matthias Scheutz, Paul Schermerhorn
Effective decision-making under real-world conditions can be very difficult as purely rational methods of decision-making are often not feasible or... Sample PDF
Affective Goal and Task Selection for Social Robots
Chapter 6
Christopher P. Lee-Johnson, Dale A. Carnegie
The hypothesis that artificial emotion-like mechanisms can improve the adaptive performance of robots and intelligent systems has gained... Sample PDF
Robotic Emotions: Navigation with Feeling
Chapter 7
C. Gros
All self-active living beings need to solve the motivational problem—the question of what to do at any moment of their life. For humans and... Sample PDF
Emotions, Diffusive Emotional Control and the Motivational Problem for Autonomous Cognitive Systems
Chapter 8
Bruce J. MacLennan
This chapter addresses the “Hard Problem” of consciousness in the context of robot emotions. The Hard Problem, as defined by Chalmers, refers to the... Sample PDF
Robots React, but Can They Feel?
Chapter 9
Mercedes García-Ordaz, Rocío Carrasco-Carrasco, Francisco José Martínez-López
It is contended here that the emotional elements and features of human reasoning should be taken into account when designing the personality of... Sample PDF
Personality and Emotions in Robotics from the Gender Perspective
Chapter 10
Antoni Gomila, Alberto Amengual
In this chapter we raise some of the moral issues involved in the current development of robotic autonomous agents. Starting from the connection... Sample PDF
Moral Emotions for Autonomous Agents
Chapter 11
Pietro Cipresso, Jean-Marie Dembele, Marco Villamira
In this work, we present an analytical model of hyper-inflated economies and develop a computational model that permits us to consider expectations... Sample PDF
An Emotional Perspective for Agent-Based Computational Economics
Chapter 12
Michel Aubé
The Commitment Theory of Emotions is issued from a careful scrutiny of emotional behavior in humans and animals, as reported in the literature on... Sample PDF
Unfolding Commitments Management: A Systemic View of Emotions
Chapter 13
Sigerist J. Rodríguez, Pilar Herrero, Olinto J. Rodríguez
Today, realism and coherence are highly searched qualities in agent’s behavior; but these qualities cannot be achieved completely without... Sample PDF
A Cognitive Appraisal Based Approach for Emotional Representation
Chapter 14
Clément Raïevsky, François Michaud
Emotion plays several important roles in the cognition of human beings and other life forms, and is therefore a legitimate inspiration for providing... Sample PDF
Emotion Generation Based on a Mismatch Theory of Emotions for Situated Agents
Chapter 15
Artificial Surprise  (pages 267-291)
Luis Macedo, Amilcar Cardoso, Rainer Reisenzein, Emiliano Lorini
This chapter reviews research on computational models of surprise. Part 1 begins with a description of the phenomenon of surprise in humans, reviews... Sample PDF
Artificial Surprise
Chapter 16
Tom Adi
A new theory of emotions is derived from the semantics of the language of emotions. The sound structures of 36 Old Arabic word roots that express... Sample PDF
A Theory of Emotions Based on Natural Language Semantics
Chapter 17
Huma Shah, Kevin Warwick
The Turing Test, originally configured as a game for a human to distinguish between an unseen and unheard man and woman, through a text-based... Sample PDF
Emotion in the Turing Test: A Downward Trend for Machines in Recent Loebner Prizes
Chapter 18
Félix Francisco Ramos Corchado, Héctor Rafael Orozco Aguirre, Luis Alfonso Razo Ruvalcaba
Emotions play an essential role in the cognitive processes of an avatar and are a crucial element for modeling its perception, learning, decision... Sample PDF
Artificial Emotional Intelligence in Virtual Creatures
Chapter 19
Sarantos I. Psycharis
In our study we collected data with respect to cognitive variables (learning outcome), metacognitive indicators (knowledge about cognition and... Sample PDF
Physics and Cognitive-Emotional-Metacognitive Variables: Learning Performance in the Environment of CTAT
Chapter 20
Anthony G. Francis Jr., Manish Mehta, Ashwin Ram
Believable agents designed for long-term interaction with human users need to adapt to them in a way which appears emotionally plausible while... Sample PDF
Emotional Memory and Adaptive Personalities
Chapter 21
Dorel Gorga, Daniel K. Schneider
The purpose of this contribution is to discuss conceptual issues and challenges related to the integration of emotional agents in the design of... Sample PDF
Computer-Based Learning Environments with Emotional Agents
Chapter 22
Emotional Ambient Media  (pages 443-459)
Artur Lugmayr, Tillmann Dorsch, Pabo Roman Humanes
The “medium is the message”: nowadays the medium as such is non-distinguishable from its presentation environment. However, what is the medium in an... Sample PDF
Emotional Ambient Media
Chapter 23
Jordi Vallverdú, David Casacuberta
During the previous stage of our research we developed a computer simulation (called ‘The Panic Room’ or, more simply, ‘TPR’) dealing with synthetic... Sample PDF
Modelling Hardwired Synthetic Emotions: TPR 2.0
Chapter 24
Cecile K.M. Crutzen, Hans-Werner Hein
A vision of future daily life is explored in Ambient Intelligence (AmI). It follows the assumption that information technology should disappear into... Sample PDF
Invisibility and Visibility: The Shadows of Artificial Intelligence
About the Contributors