Robots are no longer only in outer space, in factory cages, or in our imaginations. We interact with robotic agents when withdrawing cash from bank ATMs, driving cars with adaptive cruise control, and tuning our smart home thermostats. In the moment of those interactions with robotic agents, we behave in ways that do not necessarily align with the rational belief that robots are just plain machines. Through a combination of controlled experiments and field studies, we use theories and concepts from the social sciences to explore ways that human and robotic agents come together, including how people interact with personal robots and how people interact through telepresence robots. Together, we will explore topics and raise questions about the psychology of human-robot interaction and how we could invent a future of a more human-centered robotics that we actually want to live in.
Leila Takayama is an associate professor of Computational Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who studies human-robot interaction. Prior to UC Santa Cruz, she was a senior user experience researcher at GoogleX, and was a research scientist and area manager for human-robot interaction at Willow Garage. She has served as a World Economic Forum Global Futures Council Member and Young Global Leader. In 2015, she was presented the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society Early Career Award. In 2012, she was named a TR35 winner and one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company.
With a background in Cognitive Science, Psychology, and Human-Computer Interaction, Professor Takayama examines human encounters with new technologies. She completed her PhD in Communication at Stanford University in 2008, advised by Professor Clifford Nass. She also holds a PhD minor in Psychology from Stanford, a master's degree in Communication from Stanford, and bachelor's of arts degrees in Psychology and Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley (2003). During her graduate studies, she was a research assistant in the User Interface Research (UIR) group at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).