Identifying Opportunities for Social Robots in Youth Services: A Case Study of a Youth Guidance Center

Session 14: Social Norms and Roles I

 

Speakers

Kirsikka Kaipainen, Research Group of Human-Centered Technology (IHTE), Tampere University, Finland

Kirsikka Kaipainen (PhD, Information Technology) currently works as a postdoctoral researcher in the research group of Human-Centered Technology (IHTE) in Tampere University, Finland. She received her doctoral degree in 2014 from Tampere University of Technology. Her research interests encompass social robots and technologies to promote sustainability, equality and wellbeing. She is experienced in the design and evaluation of wellbeing technologies, and in conducting field studies on user experience with social robots. 

Salla Jarske, Research Group of Human-Centered Technology (IHTE), Tampere University, Finland

Salla Jarske (Master of Social Science) is a doctoral researcher in the research group of Human-Centered Technology (IHTE) in Tampere University, Finland. She received her master’s degree in social science (Social Psychology) from Tampere University in 2017. She wrote her master’s thesis on ethnomethodology, and is currently pursuing her doctorate on human-robot interaction with social robots. 

Kaisa Väänänen, Research Group of Human-Centered Technology (IHTE), Tampere University, Finland

Kaisa Väänänen is a full professor of user experience (Human-Computer Interaction) in Tampere University, Finland. Kaisa leads the research group of Human-Centered Technology (IHTE) in the unit of Computing Sciences. Kaisa has over 25 years of experience in research related to human-computer interaction of novel systems, both in university and industry. In 1995-2004, she worked at Nokia Inc, in leading positions of user needs research and strategic consumer insights. Kaisa’s research interests cover user experience and human-centered design, with emphasis on novel digital services and technologies that can advance sustainability. 

Abstract

Youth guidance services provide information and advice for young people, but often have limited resources and time to address all needs especially related to social interaction. Guided by the principles of Integrative Social Robotics, we conducted a case study of a youth guidance center to recognize central values and needs of clients and staff, based on which to identify possible opportunities for social interactions enabled by robots. The study consisted of a context study and an interview with a staff member, and an online questionnaire for young people (n=8) who had visited the center. The youth’s needs included conversational support and alleviation of anxiety; the staff’s needs involved getting feedback and provision of conversational support. The central values suggested by the youth were compassion, encouragement, respect, honesty, and safety, with acceptance as the overarching theme. Based on the findings, we discuss possible social robotic concepts and implications on design process and institutional practices. We also propose that values can be formulated as experience goals to guide the design process.