Smart algorithms permeate deeper and deeper into our lives. They influence what music we listen to, where we eat and what we eat, what people we meet, whether we are invited for a job interview, what information we find, and so on. Soon advanced bots will 24/7 diagnose our health and advise us on nutrition and lifestyle. When will the personal care robot become available, that - when we get old and needy- helps us out of bed and under the shower, reminds us of regular eating, drinking and taking medication, supports our housekeeping and guides us during walks?
For people, emotions are essential in communication. If we find something important, we put an emotional load on it, and if we don't, it's apparently not important. We also see reasonably well how someone feels about what we do. Without emotions, we cannot set priorities, we can’t make good choices.
If we want people and (ro)bots to really work together, it is reasonable to assume that emotions will play an important role. Technology is getting ready for this. Computers are able to recognise and express emotions.
How could we make emotions an integral part of the interaction between people and bots, and how could this lead to better coordination and more trust? Do we need to mimic human emotions? How can we conduct research into this?