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Does the Goal Matter?: Emotion Recognition Tasks Can Change the Social Value of Facial Mimicry Towards Artificial Agents
Eindhoven Univ Technol, Human Technol Interact Grp, Eindhoven, Netherlands.;Uppsala Univ, Dept Informat Technol, Uppsala Social Robot Lab, Uppsala, Sweden..
Univ Potsdam, Dept Linguist, Computat Linguist, Potsdam, Germany..
Univ Potsdam, Dept Linguist, Computat Linguist, Potsdam, Germany.;European Commiss, Joint Res Ctr, Seville, Spain..
Inst Polytech Paris, LTCI, Telecom Paris, Paris, France..
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2021 (English)In: Frontiers in Robotics and AI, E-ISSN 2296-9144, Vol. 8, article id 699090Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we present a study aimed at understanding whether the embodiment and humanlikeness of an artificial agent can affect people's spontaneous and instructed mimicry of its facial expressions. The study followed a mixed experimental design and revolved around an emotion recognition task. Participants were randomly assigned to one level of humanlikeness (between-subject variable: humanlike, characterlike, or morph facial texture of the artificial agents) and observed the facial expressions displayed by three artificial agents differing in embodiment (within-subject variable: video-recorded robot, physical robot, and virtual agent) and a human (control). To study both spontaneous and instructed facial mimicry, we divided the experimental sessions into two phases. In the first phase, we asked participants to observe and recognize the emotions displayed by the agents. In the second phase, we asked them to look at the agents' facial expressions, replicate their dynamics as closely as possible, and then identify the observed emotions. In both cases, we assessed participants' facial expressions with an automated Action Unit (AU) intensity detector. Contrary to our hypotheses, our results disclose that the agent that was perceived as the least uncanny, and most anthropomorphic, likable, and co-present, was the one spontaneously mimicked the least. Moreover, they show that instructed facial mimicry negatively predicts spontaneous facial mimicry. Further exploratory analyses revealed that spontaneous facial mimicry appeared when participants were less certain of the emotion they recognized. Hence, we postulate that an emotion recognition goal can flip the social value of facial mimicry as it transforms a likable artificial agent into a distractor. Further work is needed to corroborate this hypothesis. Nevertheless, our findings shed light on the functioning of human-agent and human-robot mimicry in emotion recognition tasks and help us to unravel the relationship between facial mimicry, liking, and rapport.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media SA , 2021. Vol. 8, article id 699090
Keywords [en]
human-robot interaction, human-agent interaction, affective computing, facial mimicry, anthropomorphism, uncanny valley, facial action coding system
National Category
Robotics Computer Sciences Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-306581DOI: 10.3389/frobt.2021.699090ISI: 000725761300001PubMedID: 34869609Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85120494166OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-306581DiVA, id: diva2:1621701
Note

QC 20211220

Available from: 2021-12-20 Created: 2021-12-20 Last updated: 2022-06-25Bibliographically approved

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Peters, Christopher Edward
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