Talkie – the child interview robot

Talkie – Child Interview Robot. Illustration: Lisa Jakobsen Knashaug, Thea Elisabeth Stephansen and Philip Thao Hoang

Talkie is a social interview robot that interacts and engages a conversation with children. The purpose of Talkie is to interview the child and make them feel comfortable enough to open up about sensitive topics, and could be purchased by either a journalist, psychologist or a criminal investigator. To establish trust Talkie will show pictures, play music and games, show emotions, and ask more serious questions in between. Using conversational AI Talkie can be trained to engage in conversations. It will learn, remember and adapt to the child and the conversation would ve tailored to obtain wanted data.  

Talkie was developed as part of the course «Media Technology: Theory and Development» in the autumn of 2020, by Lisa Jakobsen Knashaug, Thea Elisabeth Stephansen and Philip Thao Hoang. Below you can find three essays associated with the prototype.

Robots and how to love them

By Lisa Jakobsen Knashaug

This essay explores both current and futuristic versions of Talkie, in regards to what qualities the robot needs to possess in order to be able to convince a child to trust her and to be considered a peer. The exploration is done in light of the topics of Human Robot interaction and Design Theory.

This essay deals with an exploration of the functions of voice user interfaces and the ethical dilemmas in the current version and a future scenario for Talkie, in the light of Don Norman’s design principles and James Moor’s machine ethics.

Social construction of a child interview robot

By Philip Thao Hoang

This essay takes a closer look at how Talkie is technically designed and developed as a cybernetic machine using Human-Robot Interaction. It also explores how Talkie will be used practically by different social groups in the society with Social Constructivism. 

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