In an interview, Ayanna Howard discusses her work directing the Georgia Institute of Technology's Human-Automation Systems Lab (HumAnS), a multidisciplinary effort to bring humanized intelligence and human cognitive capability to autonomous systems.
Howard says her background in both classical engineering and computer science inspired her to study problems from a systems thinking perspective, with an emphasis on assistive robots for pediatric health therapy.
"We found that children want to cooperate with the robot," she notes. "Also the robot doesn't get tired or lose patience with the child and that helps with maintaining longer-term interactions."
Howard recognizes the importance of trust in human-in-the-loop robotics, and says educating robots to mimic human behavior fosters interaction and trust.
However, she warns excessive trust in robots can be dangerous, and HumAnS is working to mitigate this hazard to discourage overreliance.
"The key is to maximize the rewards while minimizing any potential risk," Howard says.
From PC Magazine
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