Empathy Swarm (2018)

Adam Donovan & Katrin Hochschuh

Can robots feel empathy? The Artists Katrin Hochschuh and Adam Donovan address this question in their installation. A swarm of 50 robots adapts its behaviour and interacts with the observer using emotion recognition algorithms and camera tracking. Its formations, animations, and movements become the language of swarm expressions. The goal is to use deep learning to train the robots to respond compassionately to people’s facial expressions. As an antithesis or extension to humanoid robots like the famous “Sophia”, the artists show that non-anthropomorphic robots can also learn and produce a feeling of empathy and compassion. With a simple animated film, the psychologists Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel had demonstrated back in 1944 how easy it is for the observer’s brain to associate emotional attachment to inanimate objects and how the human brain is hardwired for compassion. Based on this research, the installation is an experiment and social test on human-robot interaction.

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Genre
robotics
interactiveInstallationSculpture
Methods
aIMachineLearning
Themes
Art And Science
algorithm
artificialIntelligence
machine