When we go for a walk with friends, we can observe that our movements unconsciously synchronize. This is a crucial aspect of human relations that is known to build trust, liking, and the feeling of connectedness and rapport. In this project, we explore if and how this effect can enhance the relationship between humans and AI systems by increasing the sense of connectedness in the formation of techno-social teams working together on a task.

To evaluate the feasibility of this approach, we plan to build a physical object representing an AI system that can bend in two dimensions to synchronize with the movements of humans. Then, we plan to conduct an initial evaluation in which we will track the upper body motion of the participants and use this data to compute the prototype movement using different transfer functions (e.g., varying the delay and amplitude of the movement).


Physical prototype that employs bending for synchronization

Study results on the feasibility of establishing trust with embodied AI systems through motion synchronization.

Publication of the results

Primary Contact: Florian Müller, LMU Munich