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Service robots for affective labor: a sociology of labor perspective
Dobrosovestnova A., Hannibal G., Reinboth T. AI & Society2 (37):487-499,2021.Type:Article
Date Reviewed: Oct 26 2022

Smart robots will likely continue to provide hospitality and industrial management services. The continued increase of robotic roles in technologically advanced societies requires better understanding of human-robot interaction (HRI). But are the frameworks on emotion in the sociology of labor and service robots similar or different? The authors investigate the conflicts between sentimental and expressive labor services, and offer insights into the innovative models and assessments of valuable professional service robots.

This extraordinary research paper critiques several works on methods for providing HRI emotions, the sociological viewpoints of workforce emotions, and current groundbreaking studies for future HRI research. Indeed, from a sociological perspective, sentimental emotions can be incorporated into HRI research. Indeed, humans ought to remain active agents for discovering components of social interactions in HRI research. Moreover, research on professional service robots ought to include more psychological and political factors.

The unique contributions of this paper include: (1) a call to scientists to identify ways for “professional service robots to facilitate deep acting, or enable service sector employees to express deep-felt emotions”; (2) compelling evidence that advocates the usability, social acceptance, user experience, and societal impact (USUS) framework for evaluating the “socio-relational factors” of existing robots; and (3) the clear articulation of the vital roles communication, computing, sociology, psychology, economics, politics, and linguistics play in the design and implementation of different kinds of affective robots.

I strongly recommend this paper, full of insightful ideas, to HRI and interdisciplinary researchers working on the design and implementation of industrial and specialized robots.

Reviewer:  Amos Olagunju Review #: CR147507
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