Microsoft Future Leaders in Robotics and AI Seminar Series: Ruchen (Puck) Wen

Friday, April 12, 2024
2:30 p.m.
Online Seminar

Designing Language-Capable Robots for Ethical & Socially Adaptive Human Interactions

Ruchen (Puck) Wen
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Maryland Baltimore County

Zoom Link


As social robots become increasingly integrated into everyday contexts, ensuring natural and fluid interaction with humans has become a critical challenge. This involves developing robots capable of natural interaction consistent with social conventions. Meanwhile, language-capable robots hold unique persuasive power over their human interactants, which offers exciting opportunities to encourage pro-social behavior. However, these capabilities also come with risks, particularly in regards to the potential for robots to accidentally harm human norm systems. Therefore, it is not only important to enable social robots with moral and social competence, but also to investigate the impact that these robots have on humans to facilitate the successful integration of robots into human society. In this presentation, I will introduce my research on proposing design guidelines and developing context-sensitive computational approaches to enhance robots' abilities in understanding human intentions and generating responses that are ethically and socially adaptive.


Ruchen Wen is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Interactive Robotics and Language (IRAL) lab at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is co-advised by Dr. Cynthia Matuszek and Dr. Francis Ferraro. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Colorado School of Mines, advised by Dr. Tom Williams. Her research focuses on robot ethics and linguistic human-robot interaction. Her research goal is to develop morally and socially competent robots that can exert positive influence and help preserve a better moral ecosystem between humans and robots.

Audience: Public 

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