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Artificial Intelligence Goes Public

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A humanoid robot.

Several U.K. institutions are collaborating on a project that will use robots as proxies for people in public spaces.

Credit: cityam

Researchers from several U.K. institutions are collaborating on "Being There: Humans and Robots in Public Space," a project that will use robots to serve as a proxy for people in public spaces.

Over the next three years, the researchers will attempt to use robots to bridge the gap between the way humans communicate in person and online. Experts from Exeter University will lead the research into tele-operation, in which a human tele-operator will be able to remotely see through a robot's eyes and speak through its mouth, while directing where it looks and how it moves. Tele-operation would enable someone who is ill, disabled, or lives too far away to remotely participate in a public space.

"The aim of our research is for the robot to be an avatar for a remote person so it will be taking part in the same activities as those present in the venue," says University of the West of England researcher Paul Bremner. "The robots will be tele-operated to produce speech, gestures, and other non-verbal social behavior so that we can look at the way robot avatars transmit social presence."

The project also will build a living lab to study how people would respond and interact with the robot.

From Laboratorytalk
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