When:  19 November 2019, 16:00 – 17:30 hours (followed by drinks)
This event is open for external attendees: To register, please send an email with your name and affiliation.

Special RPA lecture by prof. S. Shyam Sundar
This is a keynote lecture in the RPA Communication Lecture Series, being given by Professor S. Shyam Sundar, the James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects and founding director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory at The Pennsylvania State University. This keynote is also part of Conversations 2019, the 3rd International Workshop on Chatbot Research, hosted by the RPA Communication and its Digital Communication Methods Lab this year.

Prof. Sundar’s research investigates social and psychological effects of interactive media, including chatbots, robots, smart speakers and algorithms. His experiments investigate the role played by technological affordances in shaping user experience of mediated communications in a variety of interfaces. He edited the first-ever Handbook on the Psychology of Communication Technology (Blackwell Wiley, 2015) and served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication from 2013 to 2017.

Perceiving and Interacting with Algorithms and Bots: Psychological Mechanisms that Predict User Experience of Human-AI Interaction (HAII)
Most conversational agents are driven by algorithms and bots, striving to create a satisfying user experience. Yet, it is unclear how these agents should look and act. Should they appear human in order to provide users with a natural interaction? Or, will a humanlike appearance needlessly raise their expectations or make users uncomfortable because of their eeriness? Should they be cheery or serious when providing assistance to humans? Should they express empathy to users who express problems or complaints? Answers to such questions require systematic research on the psychological effects of affordances embedded in these agents. This talk will provide a framework for conducting research with AI-driven media by invoking the speaker’s Theory of Interactive Media Effects (TIME) and discuss how the cues transmitted by such media affect user experience differently than the user actions invited by them, and provide solutions for resolving the tension between machine agency and human agency.

Note: To participate in the Conversations 2019 workshop, please see details directly on the workshop website.