”Why Can’t We Be Friends?” An Empathic Game Companion for Long-Term Interaction
The ability of artificial companions (virtual agents or robots) to establish meaningful relationships with users is still limited. In humans, a key aspect of such ability is empathy, often seen as the basis of social cooperation and pro-social behaviour. In this paper, we present a study where a social robot with empathic capabilities interacts with two users playing a chess game against each other. During the game, the agent behaves in an empathic manner towards one of the players and in a neutral way towards the other. In an experiment conducted with 40 participants, results showed that users to whom the robot was empathic provided higher ratings in terms of companionship.
Keywordsaffective interaction companionship empathy friendship
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