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This paper explores the intersection of three areas: interactive robots, face recognition, and online social networks, by presenting and discussing an implemented real-world system that combines all three, a ldquoFaceBotsrdquo robot. Our robot is a mobile robot with face recognition, natural language dialogue, as well as mapping capabilities. The robot is also equipped with a social database containing information about the people it interacts with, and is also connected in real-time to the ldquoFacebookrdquo online social networking Web site, which contains information as well as partially tagged pictures. Our system demonstrates the benefits of this triangle of interconnection: it is not only the case that facebook information can lead to more interesting interactions, but also that: facebook photos enable better face recognition, interactive robots enable robot-mediated publishing of photos and information on facebook. Most importantly, as we shall see in detail, social information enables significantly better and faster face recognition, as an interesting bidirectional relationship exists between the ldquofriendsrdquo relation in social networks and the ldquofaces appear in the same picturerdquo relation in face recognition. We will present algorithms for exploiting this relationship, as well as quantitative results. The two main novelties of our system are: this is the first interactive conversational mobile robot that utilizes and publishes social information in facebook, and is also the first system utilizing the social context of conjectured identities in a photo for better face recognition.
Date of Conference: 24-27 June 2009