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5 ways social robots can change post-COVID tourism

A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, with closed borders and holiday plans revised into staycations, it is painfully evident that the tourism sector has been severely affected by the crisis. Global tourism has previously been on the rise, with close to 1.5 billion tourist arrivals in 2019, and although the drop in 2020 is thankfully believed to be temporary it is clear that travelling and tourism will look different in the post-pandemic world. Can social robots be part of the solution?

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How social robots can combat loneliness

Loneliness and social isolation among the general population is swiftly becoming a pandemic of its own during this period of huge uncertainty. During a time when human contact is limited, healthcare practitioners are looking for new and innovative methods of engaging those struggling during these times. In this blog, we’re looking at how social robots can be a solution that will combat loneliness, and provide value beyond the post-COVID era.

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How can social robots relieve healthcare providers under pressure?

The fact that healthcare providers are under high pressure, suffering from a global shortage of medical staff, should not be news to anyone. Earlier this year, WHO estimated that an additional 18 million healthcare workers will be needed by 2030, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic making it painfully clear that we are in desperate need of more skilled (and healthy) healthcare workers. So, how can social robots reduce the workload on over-stretched healthcare providers?

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What Are Social Robots? An Introduction to the Furhat Robot

What are social robots and how will they affect our society? In times of rapid technological advancements, with robots supporting us both with practical and emotional tasks throughout the COVID-19 crisis, that’s a very valid question to ask oneself.

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Raising eyebrows: the power of animated facial features

A social robot with proper visual articulation will allow us to suspend our disbelief for longer. Yes, of course we logically know that it is merely a machine, but if it looks and acts coherently like a character, we will still allow ourselves to be immersed in non-verbal interaction.

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Should social robots have touch screens?

Interaction with a social robot like Furhat is inherently different from interaction with a voice assistant. The difference is similar to that between talking to someone face-to-face in the same room compared to a phone conversation.

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I can see clearly now – the visual perception of a social robot

For a robot to interact socially with human beings, it indeed must be able to not only detect, but also understand human faces and what they represent. Here is a glimpse into how we make this possible.

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How to integrate NLU and Dialog with Furhat

In a conversation, we constantly try to interpret what our conversational partner is saying and decipher what meaning they want to convey. For social robots, we call this capability Natural Language Understanding. But how do we use this in the Furhat platform?

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5 steps to making robot interactions stronger

You are designing a social robot interaction. You are fighting against the monotone intonation of speech synthesis, against latency in the speech recognition and against the very narrow conversational path you have to lead your users down because “real” AI does not exist yet. How can you avoid your interaction being experienced as slow and flat? How do you make it come to life?

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Using Wizard-of-Oz for user studies with Furhat

Our powerful Wizard-of-Oz tool is a great method to collect data for quick iterations on prototypes and to control experiments. We have outlined how this works and the fun history behind the term.

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Why do we even need robots? Aren’t chatbots and avatars enough?

Why are social robots better than chatbots or voice assistants? Here are four powerful reasons.

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Behind the scenes: programming the world’s most advanced social robot

What’s it like building a brand new program on the world’s most advanced social robot? With no how-to, no experience, and high ambitions? A software engineer shares his insights.

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The 7 best use cases for social robots

What are the best applications for social robots? Which industries are on the verge of the new robotics revolution? Here are 7 ways social robots are about to change the world.

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How can social robots help us understand human suffering?

Psychologist Robert Johansson has devoted his life’s work to helping those with mental illness. It’s a problem almost as old as humanity itself — but could modern technology be part of the solution?

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What’s in a name? The story behind Furhat Robotics

The power of a proper noun is not to be underestimated. So why on earth are we called Furhat Robotics?

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A robot in every classroom: Furhat’s vision for education

Social robots can assist teachers, giving more students access to a responsive mentor of sorts. Rather than isolating students, having them stare at a book or a touch-screen, a social robot gives them a physical, social, emotional interface to interact with.

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Can we reduce recruitment bias with social robots?

How could such a robot help to reduce bias in the recruitment process? Wouldn’t the robot just replicate the human bias that exists in the data that we train the models on? There are several answers to this.

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Making sense of Google Duplex — An assessment of Google’s latest innovation

Even though Google has been working on Duplex for many years, they have focussed on three, very specific examples which indicates how much work goes into fine-tuning each of them. Every new situation will require a substantial amount of work to sound convincing and given the plethora of apps Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa provide, we are not likely to see this type of interaction in our voice assistants in the near future.

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Learn more about the Furhat platform And join us in…

Learn more about the Furhat platform

And join us in bringing social robots to the world.

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