Ripple Effects of an Embedded Social Agent : A Field Study of a Social Robot in the Workplace

Min Kyung Lee, Sara Kiesler, Jodi Forlizzi, and Paul Rybski
CHI 2012, May, 2012.


Abstract
Prior research has investigated the effect of interactive social agents presented on computer screens or embodied in robots. Much of this research has been pursued in labs and brief field studies. Comparatively little is known about social agents embedded in the workplace, where employees have repeated interactions with the agent, alone and with others. We designed a social robot snack delivery service for a workplace, and evaluated the service over four months allowing each employee to use it for two months. We report on how employees responded to the robot and the service over repeated encounters. Employees attached different social roles to the robot beyond a delivery person as they incorporated the robot's visit into their workplace routines. Beyond one-on-one interaction, the robot created a ripple effect in the workplace, triggering new behaviors among employees, including politeness, protection of the robot, mimicry, social comparison, and even jealousy. We discuss the implications of these ripple effects for designing services incorporating social agents.

Keywords
Social agent, human-robot interaction, service design, workplace, field study, embodiment, organizational technology

Notes
Sponsor: NSF
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Vision and Autonomous Systems Center and Quality of Life Technology Center
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): Human-Robot Interaction Group
Associated Project(s): Snackbot

Text Reference
Min Kyung Lee, Sara Kiesler, Jodi Forlizzi, and Paul Rybski, "Ripple Effects of an Embedded Social Agent : A Field Study of a Social Robot in the Workplace," CHI 2012, May, 2012.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Lee_2012_7265,
   author = "Min Kyung Lee and Sara Kiesler and Jodi Forlizzi and Paul Rybski",
   title = "Ripple Effects of an Embedded Social Agent : A Field Study of a Social Robot in the Workplace",
   booktitle = "CHI 2012",
   month = "May",
   year = "2012",
}