Headline September 01, 2017/ ''' TO ROBOT- WITH LOVE '''


*TO SIR, WITH LOVE* :  -for those of you who don't know    -this was one great beautiful movie. And the lesser said the better------for...........

Students are best advised to never forget watching it, at the first available moments. Zilli, and her many friends, saw it the nth time, and loved every word of the most touching dialogues.

So, when I came up with this heading :  
''To Robot With Love'', there was a great cheer all around.   Even before the publishing of this headline tonight, I have had the beautiful moments of savoring all kinds of appreciations.

ALL Storytellers,  including Master Robot, Sir, ............tell a story with a development of a character in mind : the character must progress morally, find a different way to fit into a society   -or outside it.

But for now and the very near future : *Please, do Welcome Mr. Robot, Sir, and if possible do it with Love* :  

TO  INVESTIGATE THE IMPORTANCE such social issues might play in learning from technology, we recently conducted a study with a-

4- to 7 year old children from school in Boston.  The children listened to a story read by a robot that looked like a  cute plush creature with an animated face that allowed for  emotional expressions and eye and mouth movements.

For half the children, the robot made use of  these capabilities, responding to events in the story and to the children's answers to its questions in a manner that expressed typical social and emotional cues.

For the other children, the  robot was ''flat'' : It  told the same story, but didn't  emit or respond with the typically expected cues.

As the children listened to the story, we measured their engagement and attention using the   automated software to track facial, head and eye movements.

To gauge their understanding and use of the new vocabulary words embedded in the story, we had the students / children retell the story to a puppet both immediately afterward and again after a four-to-six week delay.

As we detail in a recent issue of the  journal.........  *Frontiers in Human Neuroscience*,   the children's learning and engagement were heightened in the presence of appropriate social cues.

Among those children who recalled and correctly used at least one of the target vocabulary words during the immediate retelliing of the story-

The total number used was greater for those who listened to the expressive robot than those for those who listened to the flat one.

Moreover,  children/students  who interacted with the expressive robot showed greater levels of consideration and engagement during the listening task.    

But perhaps the biggest effects were seen in the long-term retention. When the children/students returned weeks later to retell the story-

Those who had initially heard it from the  flat robot  showed a decrease in the length and detail of their retold story, whereas those-

Who heard it from the expressive robot retained the information they had heard.

Put simply, the children were not only more retentive to and motivated by a socially expressive robot, but they also processed what they learned from it more deeply.

Of course, there's  more to learning than just listening and remembering  
There's also the issue of authority :

Whom should you seek knowledge from?  Here again,  social cues can play an important role. In a different experiment published last year in the journal Topics Cognitive Science-

We had two robots tell 3-to-5 -year-old students/children facts about the novel [made-up]  animals. 

This time, one of the robots  behaved in a  ''socially contingent''  while it talked,  expressing cues in a way that was appropriate and responsive to student's / 'children's utterances and behaviors-

The other did not. Expressing similar cues but in a way that was fairly random.

Towards the end of the experiment, a new animal appeared, affording kids the opportunity to ask  questions and learn about it.

Here, 82%  of the  children' / students  chose to seek information about the about the new animal from the properly expressive robot as  opposed to its partner.

What's more, even when both  robots offered  information about the new animal, the children were significantly more likely to believe the information from the expressive one.

Notably, it's not that the children liked the expressive robot more. They didn't; we asked.

Rather,  it's that the presence of  social cues made the expressive robot, and therefore its information, seem more reliable and trustworthy.

The upshot of these findings is clear. 

If we want to use  technology to help people learn, we have to provide information in the way the human mind evolved to receive it.

We have to speak to the mind's language, and that includes the language not only of information but also of social cues.

Failing to do so will continue to artificially limit the gains that educational technology promises to offer.

!The secret to a good robot teacher!, a dynamic interpretation of Time and Space. Often, operating along the axis of psychological realism, most of the interesting reality we inhabit is ignored-

*Because we take time and space  as relatively stable*.

With respectful dedication to All the Little Angels. Parents, Students, Professors, and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!   -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' !Extremist Robots? '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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