chapter  9
15 Pages

Towards more humane machines

Creating emotional social robots
WithAna Paiva, Samuel Mascarenhas, Sofia Petisca, Filipa Correia, Patrícia Alves-Oliveira

Robots are now widely used in industrial settings, and today the world has woken up to the impact that they will have in our society. But robots have been limited to repetitive, industrial tasks. However, recent platforms are becoming more secure to operate amongst humans, and research in Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) is preparing robots for use in schools, public services and eventually everyone’s home. If we aim for a robot flexible enough to work around humans and decide autonomously how to act in complex situations, a notion of morality is needed for their decision making. In this chapter we argue that we can achieve some level of moral decision making in social robots if they are endowed with empathy capabilities. We then discuss how to build artificial empathy in robots, giving some concrete examples of how these implementations can guide the path to creating moral social robots in the future.