A Japanese robot named Erica learned to laugh

A robot has learned to laugh at jokes in an effort to make it more human.

Researchers at Kyoto University in Japan are using artificial intelligence to train robots for appropriate laughter – and to differentiate laughter from heartbreaking screams.

Write in the journal Frontiers of robotics and AIthey described working with a bot called Erica in hopes of making conversations more natural.

“We believe that one of the important functions of conversational AI is empathy,” said lead author Dr. Koji Inoue, assistant professor at Kyoto University in its department of science and technology. ‘intelligence.

“Conversation is, of course, multimodal, and not just responding correctly. So we decided that one of the ways a bot can sympathize with users is by sharing their laughter, which you can’t do. with a text chatbot.

By creating a “shared laughter” model, the researchers used AI to help detect laughter, decide whether to laugh, and also what kind of laughter would be best.

Four two to three minute dialogues between real people and Erica were used to test the system and worked well.

However, experts said there is still work to be done to create truly natural laughing situations.

Dr Inoue said: “Robots need to have a distinct character, and we believe they can show this through their conversational behaviors, such as laughter, gaze, gestures and speaking style.

“We don’t think this is an easy problem at all, and it could well take 10-20 years or more before we can finally have a casual conversation with a robot like we would with a friend.”

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