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Designing Emotionally Intelligent Social Robots for Applications Involving Children

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Social robots are robots designed to interact and communicate directly with humans. Yet, many of these current robots operate in restrictive social environments. In order for these machines to operate effectively in the real world, they must be capable of understanding the many factors that contribute to human social interaction. One such factor is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence (EI) allows one to consider the emotional state of another in order to motivate, plan, and achieve their goals. This presentation will first highlight current techniques in artificial intelligence that incorporate aspects of EI in human-robot interactions. This ability is especially important for applications involving children who are often still learning social skills. However, many approaches in artificial EI have not critically considered children in their target populations. The latter portion of this presentation will feature current research projects ethically and responsibly designing EI for robots capable of interacting with children.

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