Archive for December, 2008

Exploring the Abuse of Robots

December 21st, 2008 Comments off

Christoph Bartneck and Jun Hu

Abstract: Robots have been introduced into our society, but their social role is still unclear. A critical issue is whether the robot’s exhibition of intelligent behaviour leads to the users’ perception of the robot as being a social actor, similar to the way in which people treat computers and media as social actors. The first experiment mimicked Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiment, but on a robot. The participants were asked to administer electric shocks to a robot, and the results show that people have fewer concerns about abusing robots than about abusing other people. We refined the methodology for the second experiment by intensifying the social dilemma of the users. The participants were asked to kill the robot. In this experiment, the intelligence of the robot and the gender of the participants were the independent variables, and the users’ destructive behaviour towards the robot the dependent variable. Several practical and methodological problems compromised the acquired data, but we can conclude that the robot’s intelligence had a significant influence on the users’ destructive behaviour. We discuss the encountered problems and suggest improvements. We also speculate on whether the users’ perception of the robot as being “sort of alive” may have influenced the participants’ abusive behaviour.

Keywords: robots, perceived intelligence, killing, abuse

C. Bartneck, and J. Hu, “Exploring the Abuse of Robots,” Interaction Studies – Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 415-433, 2008.
DOI: 10.1075/is.9.3.04bar

Use of WebLabs as a platform for remote customer research

December 10th, 2008 Comments off

USI Final Project by Dirk van de Mortel. Draft report: [PDF, 500K]

WebLabs is the project name for a new, web-based platform for gathering user feedback. During most, if not all phases in the (iterative) design cycle, representative users and/or clients can be involved and leave feedback/input as part of User-Centered Design (UCD) process. This feedback is valuable for an evaluator (e.g. HCI expert), who then compiles yielded information and implements severe parts, by rendering them in the development of the product or service. Executing usability tests by means of a User Evaluation Method (UEM) as part of UCD is a well-known method. Other usability methods are e.g. contextual interviews, focus groups, heuristic evaluation, interviews, personas, task analysis etc that all might be applicable as feedback system on the web.
However, until now little information is known on how laboratory testing compares to remote testing, concerning Philips Research applications (i.e. multimedia applications for consumer electronics). Important advantages of remote testing are A. Time and space independence (asynchrone) B. Relatively low cost for a worldwide (and cultural diffused) audience/participants and C. Automation of results. Important disadvantages are I) No control after publication or invitation of users II) Applies on the imagination of participants when a situation is simulated/mimicked III) Requires special preparation (low fidelity prototypes become digital or hybrid: send by post and evaluated with Web applications).

D. van de Mortel, Use of WebLabs as a platform for remote customer research, USI Final Report 9044408127, Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, 2008.

ALICE’s adventures in cultural computing

December 8th, 2008 Comments off

Jun Hu, Christoph Bartneck, Ben Salem, Matthias Rauterberg

Abstract – In the paradigm of cultural computing, different cultures need different approaches to address the cultural determinants that strongly influences our way of thinking, feeling and worldview in general. For the western culture, our answer to this need is an artistic and interactive installation (ALICE) based on the narrative ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. To address the western culture characteristics highlighted in the narrative, six stages were selected and implemented as an interactive experience. From start to end, the user undergoes an immersive environment that integrates embodied and virtual agents, real and nature mimicking, and both virtual and augmented reality. Every stage challenges the hardware and software design to provide the intended experience, which at the overall system level yet have to be seamlessly integrated. A distributed and multi-layered architecture is designed to accommodate this need. After several pilot tests, the installation is ready as a cultural computing platform for the experiments that address the western cultural determinants.
Keywords: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; western culture; cultural computing; human-computer interaction; HCI; art installation; interactive installation; virtual agents; virtual reality; augmented reality; immersive environments; Alice in Wonderland

J. Hu, C. Bartneck, B. Salem, and M. Rauterberg, “ALICE’s Adventures in Cultural Computing ” International Journal of Arts and Technology, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 102-118, 2008.

AIRSF: A New Entertainment Adaptive Framework for Stress Free Air Travel

December 8th, 2008 Comments off

Hao Liu, Jun Hu,  Matthias Rauterberg

Travel by air, especially long distance, the combination of long flight duration, limited space and an unusual cabin environment causes physical and psychological discomfort and even stress for a large group of passengers. In-flight entertainment systems are commonly installed on the long haul flights to increase the passenger’s comfort level. However, the current installed and commercially available in-flight entertainment systems do not explore how the entertainment services can be adapted to reduce the passenger’s stress level systematically and intelligently. Also, these systems are designed and implemented based on a pre-set concept of what customer likes and requires as a homogeneous passenger group that has similar tastes and desires. In this paper, we present a new entertainment adaptive framework AIRSF for stress free air travel. Compared to the current in-flight entertainment framework, it can regulate the passenger’s physical and psychological states at comfort physical and psychological states with context-aware and personalized stress reduction entertainment service provision intelligently; What is more, based on the passenger’s bio and explicit feedback, it can automatically track, learn and adapt to the passenger’s preferences.
Categories and Subject Descriptors
H.1.2 [Models and Principles]: User/Machine Systems – Human factors, Human information processing.
General Terms
Design, human Factors, languages.
Adaptive framework, context-awareness, in-flight entertainment.

H. Liu, J. Hu, and M. Rauterberg, “AIRSF: A New Entertainment Adaptive Framework for Stress Free Air Travels,” in International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (ACE 2008), Yokohama, Japan, 2008, pp. 183-186.
DOI: 10.1145/1501750.1501793