As part of the 20th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2021), Personal Robots head Cynthia Breazeal has been chosen as one of two recipients of the IFAAMAS Influential Paper Award for "Emotion and Sociable Humanoid Robots." She also gave a keynote address at the virtual conference on May 6, 2021.
This paper pioneered work at the intersection of autonomous agents, affect theory, and human-robot interaction that helped spawn the field of Social Robotics and Human-Robot Interaction. It is one of the most highly cited papers in the field (over 1,300 citations), and provided a notable contrast to the design of then-contemporary embodied conversational agents that focused primarily on language and gesture, but generally avoided the important role of emotion and affect in bi-directional communication with people. The paper is seminal, having positioned as a new research direction the field of Autonomous Social Robotics, and setting forth computational models of emotion and motivation to support collaborative, goal-directed, mutually-regulated, and natural face-to-face interaction between humans and robots.