Robotics Seminar

  • Gates Hillman Centers
  • Mauldin Auditorium 1305
  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Aerospace Engineering
  • The Pennsylvania State University

Exploring Human-Robot Trust during Emergencies

This talk presents our experimental results related to human-robot trust involving more than 2000 paid subjects exploring topics such as how and why people trust a robot too much and how broken trust in a robot might be repaired. From our perspective, a person trusts a robot when they rely on and accept the risks associated with a robot’s actions or data. Our research has focused on the development of a formal conceptualization of human-robot trust that is not tied to a particular problem or situation. This has allowed us to create algorithms for recognizing which situations demand trust, provided insight into how to repair broken trust, and affords a means for bootstrapping one’s evaluation of trust in a new person or new robot. This talk presents our results using these techniques as well as our larger computational framework for representing and reasoning about trust. Our framework draws heavily from game theory and social exchange theories. We present results from this work and an ongoing related project examining social norms in terms of social and moral norm learning.

Dr. Alan Wagner is an assistant professor of Aerospace Engineering and Rock Ethics research associate at Penn State. Previously Dr. Wagner was a senior research scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Research Institute and a member of the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Machines. His research interest include the development of algorithms that allow a robot to create categories of models, or stereotypes, of its interactive partners, creating robots with the capacity to recognize situations that justify the use of deception and to act deceptively, and methods for representing and reasoning about trust. Application areas for these interests range from military to healthcare. Dr. Wagner’s research has won several awards including being selected for by the Air Force Young Investigator Program. His research on deception has gained significant notoriety in the media resulting in articles in the Wall Street Journal, New Scientist Magazine, the journal of Science, and described as the 13th most important invention of 2010 by Time Magazine. His research has also won awards within the human-robot interaction community, such as the best paper award at RO-MAN 2007. Dr. Wagner received his Ph.D. in computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology. He also holds a master’s degree in computer science from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northwestern University.

Faculty Host: Aaron Steinfeld

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