The Essence of Ethical Reasoning in Robot-Emotion Processing

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Social Robotics, 2018, 10 (2), pp. 211 - 223
Issue Date:
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© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature. As social robots become more and more intelligent and autonomous in operation, it is extremely important to ensure that such robots act in socially acceptable manner. More specifically, if such an autonomous robot is capable of generating and expressing emotions of its own, it should also have an ability to reason if it is ethical to exhibit a particular emotional state in response to a surrounding event. Most existing computational models of emotion for social robots have focused on achieving a certain level of believability of the emotions expressed. We argue that believability of a robot’s emotions, although crucially necessary, is not a sufficient quality to elicit socially acceptable emotions. Thus, we stress on the need of higher level of cognition in emotion processing mechanism which empowers social robots with an ability to decide if it is socially appropriate to express a particular emotion in a given context or it is better to inhibit such an experience. In this paper, we present the detailed mathematical explanation of the ethical reasoning mechanism in our computational model, EEGS, that helps a social robot to reach to the most socially acceptable emotional state when more than one emotions are elicited by an event. Experimental results show that ethical reasoning in EEGS helps in the generation of believable as well as socially acceptable emotions.
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