The body of embodiment

17 October 2017
Begin time: 
CITEC building

Scope and motivation

Robots and virtual agents are progressively becoming more ubiquitous in our society. Although both types of agents may have an embodiment either physical or simulated, a crucial difference exists, in terms of the possibility to share the same space of the users. There is currently an active discussion on the potential impact of physical presence on interaction and agent perception, both for the investigation of social cognition and in applications of agents in the social domain.
For instance, is a physical agent better than a virtual agent in the context of teaching children or acting as receptionist?
The workshop “The body of embodiment” will focus on the role of an agent’s embodiment and physical presence and their effects on social human-agent interactions. The following core research questions will be explored with a multidisciplinary audience:

    Which is the role of *embodiment* as a constituent of social agents?
    Which is the role of *physical presence* as a constituent of social agents?
    Which impact embodiment and physical presence have in the *social perception* of robots and virtual agents?

These three key questions are at the core of ongoing discussions in the field of HRI, HCI and HAI and this workshop aims to shed light on the development of a common ground and mutual understanding among experts in the field of embodiment research, coming from robotics, neuroscience, psychology, computer science and AI. We believe that this event will
strengthen the communication among the different research areas in the field of interaction between humans and novel technologies. Moreover, this workshop seeks to introduce junior researchers who have just entered the field to this highly relevant and complex concept.