The new uses of social robots, conversational agents, and, more generally, the so-called “intelligent” digital environments in fields as diverse as health, education, insurance, transport, or economics reflect a phase of significant change in human-machine relations. How will Humans co-learn, co-create, and co-adapt with the machine? Notably, how will vulnerable people be protected against potential threats of the machine? The Chair HUMAAINE aims to study these interactions and relationships, to audit and measure the influence of intelligent and affective systems on humans, and finally, to go towards a conception of “ethical systems” and propose evaluation measures. For this purpose, the planned scientific work focuses on the detection of social emotions in a human voice, and the study of audio and spoken language “nudges” intended to induce changes in the behavior of the human interlocutor. This work is complemented by experimental studies to evaluate ethical aspects and confidence in machines. This project combines the scientific research aspect of artificial intelligence with the implementation of an innovative methodology to evaluate and improve the ethics of the human-machine affective interaction, despite the opacity of the systems concerned. This project pushes forward a strong interdisciplinary collaboration already existing between affective computing, behavioral economics, linguistics, and natural language processing. HUMAAINE will leverage clear use cases of assistive chatbots and social robots for vulnerable people (elderly, young children) and more generally for citizens for care, education, and transport applications to address technological, ethical, and societal challenges such as machine manipulation through spoken dialog systems.

The HUMAAINE Chair is supported by CNRS-LIMSI, the DATAIA and Cognition Institutes, and also by the think-and-do-tank The Future of Society (Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching). The Domicile and Anne De Gaule foundations are the first to support and accompany HUMAAINE, followed by industrial partners with support letters (such as CareCever, MAIF, or Renault). We also cooperate with international research teams in Japan (Osaka Univ.), Germany (DFKI), and Canada (Observatory/MILA).

This Chair is the laureate of a 595,084 € grant funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR):