Johan Hoorn and Elly Konijn receive Huibregtsen Prize 2020

Johan Hoorn and Elly Konijn have received the Huibregtsen Prize for their research project 'Alice'.

10/06/2020 | 10:49 AM

‘Alice’ is an electromechanical grandchild. The robot has the goal to relieve loneliness and improve the quality of life of elderly by being a helping hand for care takers and a buddy to the older adult.

The robot girl requires a form of interaction in which the AI system can show feeling for the user and the user gets an emotional connection with the robot. All without the robot inadvertently ending up in the 'uncanny valley', the area where people start to freak out about the machine because of too much lifelikeness. This special feature of 'Alice' was also praised by the jury of the Huibregtsen Prize. "This scientific and social project is based on an impressive combination of disciplinary expertise. 'Alice' raises deep questions about possible relationships between man and machine, but also about empathy and moral reasoning."

The Huibregtsen Prize was established in 2005 by the board of the Foundation ‘De Avond van Wetenschap & Maatschappij’ and named after Ir. Wouter Huibregtsen. The prize is intended for a recent research project that combines scientific quality and innovation with a special social added value or outreach. For more information visit the website.