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  • PhD Thesis Proposal - Christopher Birmingham

    Tue, Aug 23, 2022 @ 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    University Calendar

    PhD Candidate: Christopher Birmingham

    Title: Multiparty Human-Robot Interaction: Methods For Facilitating Social Support

    Date: 08/23/33 (Tuesday)
    Time: 10am
    Virtual Only

    Zoom URL: https://usc.zoom.us/j/93201030723

    Maja Mataric
    Mohammad Soleymani
    Lynn Miller
    Jesse Thomason
    Stefanos Nikolaidis

    Socially assistive robot (SAR) systems have the potential to improve group dynamics in social settings by facilitating social support among group members. This dissertation presents a framework for SAR facilitation of social support in the context of support groups, short, repeated group interactions in which group members provide a unique type of social support made possible by shared or similar experiences of the group members. This framework is designed to encourage group members to build trust in each other through a combination of personal disclosure and empathetic responses. Within this framework the robot facilitates social support through either role-modeling empathy and disclosure or directing and encouraging group members to give their own disclosures and empathetic responses. Facilitating social support in multiparty interactions is a novel challenge for SAR that requires sensing individuals' affect, understanding multiparty turn dynamics, and acting in a socially appropriate manner for improving social support among the group. This dissertation aims toward multiple contributions, including: novel methods for measuring social support, including computational models of empathy, disclosure, and trust; a social facilitator framework for autonomous SAR facilitation based on role modeling and directing group member social support; and turn taking methods utilizing active speaker detection and turn taking prediction for modeling multiparty turn dynamics. Together, this work aids the understanding of methods a SAR agent could use to facilitate social support in group contexts.

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/93201030723

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Lizsl De Leon

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