Robots can be interacted Socially!
MIT researchers have incorporated certain social interactions into robotics, enabling machines to understand what it means to help or hinder one another, and to learn to perform these social behaviors on their own. In a simulated environment, a robot watches its companion, guesses what task it wants to accomplish, and then helps or hinders the other robot based on its own goals.
The researchers also showed that the developed model creates realistic and predictable social interactions. When the researchers showed videos of these simulated robots interacting with one another to humans, the human viewers mostly agreed with the model about what type of social behavior was occurring. Enabling robots to exhibit social skills could lead to smoother and more positive human-robot interactions.