Special Session 3

Constructing Empathy: An Interdisciplinary Investigation

Luisa Damiano (University of Bergamo), Paul Dumouchel (Ritsumeikan University), Hagen Lehmann (University of Hertfordshire)


The central issue of the workshop is the affective (emotional) interaction between robots and humans - the emerging Artificial Empathy issue. On a first level this can be seen as the issue of how to involve humans’ propensity towards anthropomorphizing, conceived as the tendency to project human attributes on ‘inanimate’ objects. On a second level the issue concerns how to create robots able to establish and competently participate in affective exchanges with human partners. The workshop confronts various approaches to these issues through the creation of a highly interdisciplinary forum.

The workshop brings together specialists from different fields (robotics, psychology, philosophy) to interdisciplinary address different aspects of “constructing empathy” - mainly technical aspects (implementation of robots able to generate empathy in HRI), empirical aspects (studies on empathy in HRI), and theoretical aspects (theories on possibilities and ways of generating empathic processes in HRI, as well as reflections on the technological, anthropo-sociological and philosophical challenges involved). The idea is to stimulate the development of a highly interdisciplinary community working on the multiple dimensions of Artificial Empathy.

The interdisciplinary approach welcomes an interdisciplinary audience. We target not only researchers working on 'constructing empathy' in HRI, cognitive, developmental, and social robotics, as well as immediately related fields, but also specialists from other fields (e.g. cognitive, behavioural and social sciences, epistemology, biology…) who are working on (natural / artificial) empathic dynamics or want to learn more about Artificial Empathy.

Talk 1: The cognitive basis of anthropomorphism: relatedness and empathy

G. Airenti (Univeristy of Torino)

Talk 2: Personality Matching to Generate Empathy in Human-Robot Teamwork

T. Dang, A. Tapus (ENSTA-ParisTech)

Talk 3: Empathy for Artificial Agents

A. Stephan (University of Osnabrück)

Important dates:

Extended Deadlines:

   Submission Deadline: March 31, 2013

   Notification Due: May 16, 2013

   Final Version Due: June 23, 2013

Early Registration: July 26, 2013

Conference: August 18-22, 2013