Social AI aims to develop AI systems that have the ability to engage in natural social interaction with human beings. It is a multi-disciplinary field combining insights from social psychology and artificial intelligence to improve and design effective interactive technology. This includes, e.g., social robots, virtual humans and conversational agents. From a technical perspective, social AI aims to develop new algorithms to endow social AI systems with more human-like abilities to understand and generate social behaviour (e.g., using techniques such as emotion recognition and natural language processing). From a social psychology perspective, social AI studies the psychological effects of interacting with social AI systems on people’s perceptions and behaviour. From an applied perspective, social AI systems can be used for various practical purposes such as social skills training and behaviour changes.
Each of these themes is explained in lectures with a focus on various aspects related to these themes, presented by researchers in the field. The course is organised in two parts. On the first day, a more theoretical perspective is provided on social psychology and interactive technologies. On the second day, a more practical, design-oriented perspective is provided.
The course is coordinated by course directors Tibor Bosse (Radboud University) and Koen Hindriks (VUA).