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Machines with social skills

We encounter AI systems and applications in nearly all aspects of our daily lives. When it comes to the interaction with this technology, there is still a lot of room for improvement. That is why Koen Hindriks wants to make AI machines more socially intelligent. 

Together with his Social AI research group, Professor of Artificial Intelligence Koen Hindriks works on making robots more socially intelligent and making the interactions between humans and robots more natural. Because if they understand each other better, they can cooperate better. This would enable us, for example, to support healthcare providers and teachers in their work by utilising socially skilled, intelligent and patient robot assistants.

Social interaction between people is a complex process, in which factors such as shared background knowledge, intonation and context are crucial. How can we make artificial intelligence systems more skilled at this? Hindriks is an expert in social robotics, one of the founders of Interactive Robotics and a participant in the largest AI research project in Dutch history: Hybrid Intelligence. 

Hindriks: “I use cognitive agent technology, Dual Process Theory, and the Systems 1 and 2 interpretation of Daniel Kahneman on human intuition and reasoning as guidelines for developing socially aware and socially interactive machines. The challenge is to design a Social Interaction Architecture (SIA) for a generic Personal Interactive Assistant (PIA). In other words, we are making smart software that applies artificial intelligence to better understand people and make interactions with them easier and more accessible. We are trying to make it available for all kinds of devices, from robots to your smartphone."

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