SPECIAL ISSUE: Beyond Industrial Robotics: Social Robots Entering Public and Domestic Spheres
Shall We Talk? Conversing with Humans and Robots
Naomi S. Baron
While social robots are the creation of human beings, it is not obvious what kinds of conversation people desire to have with computer-based devices. Progressive improvements in speech recognition, natural language parsing, and physical embodiment are making it technologically possible for social robots to engage with humans in essentially the full range of conversational modes that we do with one another. However, when we examine the variety of possible (human) linguistic functions, we discover reasons people may not wish total verisimilitude when interacting linguistically with robots. Informational and empathetic functions are likely to be more welcomed than those involving social control or critique.
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