Interesting thoughts about the complexity of conversation.
Caring Cyborgs Asian Scientist (01/03/17)
Social robots designed to interact with people could act as caregivers for the elderly and children, but current models struggle to understand and mimic the subtleties of human interaction. Nadine, a humanoid robot created at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, can remember names and past conversations and initiate conversations with people. Although such robots can be programmed to identify people, objects, and words, they are largely unable to detect a multitude of nuances, such as sarcasm, body language, facial expression, and tone of voice. "When there are many people around Nadine, she has to decide who to look at, who to listen to and, if there's a discussion, when to speak and why," says NTU professor Nadia Thalmann. "Research on multi-party interactions is very complex." One popular method used to address such challenges involves collecting massive datasets to teach the robots. Xiaoice, an artificial intelligence (AI) designed by Microsoft's Applications and Services Group East Asia, has had more than 10 billion online chats with people, many of whom initially did not realize they were talking to a robot. Microsoft launched a similar chatbot called Tay in March, but the AI was taken down after it starting repeating racist and hateful language learned from its analysis of Twitter data. ..... "