Schlagworte: HUGGIE

Towards HUGGIE

In the first part of the HUGGIE project initiated by Oliver Bendel, two students of the School of Business FHNW conducted an online survey with almost 300 participants. In the management summary of their bachelor thesis Ümmühan Korucu and Leonie Stocker (formerly Leonie Brogle) write: „The results of the survey indicated that people have a positive attitude towards robots in general as robots are perceived as interesting and useful rather than unnecessary and disturbing. However, only a minority of the participants stated that they would accept a hug from a robot. A possible reason for this could be that for the majority of participants, a hug is an act of intimacy with a deeper meaning attached to it which is only being shared with selected persons. For a robot to be perceived as an attractive hugging partner, a human-like design including a face, eyes, a friendly look as well as the ability to communicate verbally and non-verbally is desired. However, an appearance being too realistic has a deterrent effect. Furthermore, an in-depth analysis of the data in relation to age and gender of the participants resulted in the discovery of interesting facts and differences. Overall, the findings contribute to a clearer picture about the appearance and the features Huggie should have in order to be accepted as a hugging counterpart.“ The bachelor thesis will be publicly available in autumn 2020. There will also be a paper with the results next year.

Fig.: A part of a hug

Hugged by a Robot

The first phase of the HUGGIE project will start at the School of Business FHNW in March 2020. Oliver Bendel was able to recruit two students from the International Management program. The project idea is to create a social robot that contributes directly to a good life and economic success by touching and hugging people and especially customers. HUGGIE should be able to warm up in some places, and it should be possible to change the materials it is covered with. A research question will be: What are the possibilities besides warmth and softness? Are optical stimuli (also on displays), vibrations, noises, voices etc. important for a successful hug? HUGGIE could also play a role in crises and disasters, in epidemics and pandemics and in cases of permanent social distancing. Of course it would be bad if only a robot would hug us, and of course it would be good if humans could hug us every day if we wanted them to do so – but maybe in extreme situations a hug by a robot is better than nothing. The HUGGIE project is located in the heart of social robotics and on the periphery of machine ethics. By summer 2020, the students will conduct an online survey to find out the attitudes and expectations of the users.

Fig.: Hugged by a robot

13 Artefakte der Maschinenethik

Seit 2012 wurden von Oliver Bendel 13 Artefakte der Maschinenethik erfunden. Neun von ihnen wurden dann tatsächlich umgesetzt, darunter LADYBIRD, der tierfreundliche Saugroboter, und LIEBOT, der Chatbot, der systematisch lügen kann. Bei haben es zu einer gewissen Bekanntheit gebracht. Ethik muss nicht unbedingt das Gute hervorbringen, ist der Informations- und Maschinenethiker überzeugt. Sie sollte das Gute und das Böse erforschen und wie jede Wissenschaft dem Erkenntnisgewinn dienen. Entsprechend baut er sowohl moralische als auch unmoralische Maschinen. Die unmoralischen behält er aber in seinem Lab. 2020 wird, wenn das Projekt angenommen wird, der HUGGIE das Licht der Welt erblicken. Die Projektidee ist, einen sozialen Roboter zu schaffen, der unmittelbar zu einem guten Leben und zum wirtschaftlichen Erfolg beiträgt, indem er Menschen bzw. Kunden berührt und umarmt. HUGGIE soll sich an manchen Stellen erwärmen, und es sollen die Materialien, mit denen er bezogen ist, gewechselt werden können. Eine Forschungsfrage wird sein: Welche Möglichkeiten stehen neben Wärme und Weichheit zur Verfügung? Sind optische Reize (auch auf Displays), Vibrationen, Geräusche, Stimmen etc. für eine gelungene Umarmung wichtig? Alle moralischen und unmoralischen Maschinen, die zwischen 2012 und 2020 entstanden sind, sind in einer neuen Illustration zusammengestellt, die hier zum ersten Mal gezeigt wird.

Abb.: 13 Artefakte der Maschinenethik