LIREC aims to establish a multi-faceted theory of artificial long-term companions (including memory, emotions, cognition, communication, learning, etc.), embody this theory in robust and innovative technology and experimentally verify both the theory and technology in real social environments. Whether as robots, social toys or graphical and mobile synthetic characters, interactive and sociable technology is advancing rapidly. However, the social, psychological and cognitive foundations and consequences of such technological artefacts entering our daily lives - at work, or in the home - are less well understood.
The platforms currently under consideration for long term companions are:
An interesting feature of the research is migration between these platforms. Agents which need to build up a long term relationship with their users will have to switch forms depending on the needs of the user at different times. The migration of an agent between devices, and how people relate to it, is a core element of the research.
In order to test and showcase the technology developed for Lirec, several scenarios have been designed to promote companionship. These scenarios are shared between three of the research partners.
Spirit of the building:
All scenarios developed are to be experimentally tested and showcased to the public.