Aleks Krotoski discovers how a face changes a robot from a simple machine to a social being, and asks how we will be affected by devices that look us in the eye and smile at us.
The human face is quintessential part of our identity - crucial for communication, expressing emotion and understanding our place in the world.
So what happens when that most human of interfaces is placed over what boils down to a cluster of motors and a few lines of code? Aleks Krotoski explores how we will be psychologically affected by machines that can look us in the eye and smile back at us.
Producer: Elizabeth Ann Duffy.
He talks to us about the power of adding faces to robots, how they can influence our behaviour for the better and tell us more about ourselves as human beings.
She discusses how humans react psychologically to a robot with a face, and how we should be designing robots to supplement human ability rather than simply recreating ourselves.
Malcolm Knight is the founder and executive director of The Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre and author of Mask Praxis: Theories and Practices of The Mask in Modern Drama and a professional mask-maker with 50 years experience.
He tells us how masks have been part of human civilisation from our earliest history, and how the design of each face holds a particular role, and power, within society.
Wendy A. Rogers, Ph.D., is the Shahid and Ann Carlson Khan Professor of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her primary appointment is in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health. She also has an appointment in the Educational Psychology Department and is an affiliate faculty member of the Beckman Institute and the Illinois Informatics Institute and is Director of the Human Factors and Aging Laboratory.
She shares findings from her research into how older people feel about the potential of having robots supporting them in their day to day lives.
She has pioneered research into virtual humans over the last 30 years, and tells us what she has learned from her robot doppelganger Nadine, one of the most realistic humanoid robots in the world.