Design of Effective Robotic Gaze-Based Social Cueing for Users in Task-Oriented Situations: How to Overcome In-Attentional Blindness?
Robotic eye-gaze-based cueing has been studied and proved to be effective, in controlled environments, in achieving social functions as humans gaze. However, its dynamic adaptability in various real interactions has not been explored in-depth. This paper addresses a case where a simplistic robotic gaze fails to achieve effective social cueing in human–robot communication, primarily due to in-attentional blindness (IB), and presents a method that enables the robot to deliver gaze-based social
... aze-based social signals adequately. To understand the implications of IB and figure out ways to overcome any limitations from IB, which frequently arise in task-oriented situations, we designed a set of 1-on-1 communication experiments consisting of a robotic tutor and human learners participating in multiple-choice quiz sessions (task-oriented situation). Here, multimedia contents were utilized alongside the robot as visual stimuli competing for the human's attention. We hypothesized that quiz scores would increase when humans successfully recognize the robot's gaze-based cue signals hinting answers. We compared the impacts of two different cueing methods: oblique cueing (OC), where cues were straightforwardly provided regardless of whether participants were potentially experiencing IB or not, and leading cueing (LC), where cueing procedures were led through achieving eye contact and securing the participants' attention before signaling the cue. By comparing participants' test scores achieved by the control group with no cueing (NC) and two experimental groups of OC and LC, respectively, we found that there was a significant increase in test scores only when the LC method was utilized. This experiment illustrates the importance of proactively guiding a user's attention through sophisticated interaction design in effectively attaining a user's attention and successfully delivering cues. In future studies, we aim to evaluate different methods by which a social robot can intentionally shift a human's attention, such as incorporating stimuli from various multi-modal human communication channels.