Samantha Reig



Samantha Reig is a Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. She is advised by Professors Jodi Forlizzi and Aaron Steinfeld and is a member of the Transportation, Bots, and Disability Lab. She is also a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow collaborating with Dr. Terry Fong. She is interested in how robots can communicate with people in socially acceptable and legible ways during interactions that involve multiple physical embodiments and multiple people. Toward this end, her work uses research-through-design and behavioral methods to study topics including agent identity and embodiment in socially complex interactions, robot re-embodiment, personalized experiences with robots, and designing for human-robot teaming in space. Samantha received a Bachelor of Arts in information science and psychology from Cornell University in 2017, and a Masters of Science in human-computer interaction from Carnegie Mellon in 2020.

Speaker Links: Website - Google Scholar


Intelligent systems are becoming less and less constrained to single embodiments: voice-activated agents that are typically embodied in smart speakers, for example, can interact with users through multiple platforms and control multiple devices in a shared space. This novelty and complexity creates questions of how technical constraints and social context might impact aspects of agents’ design and use. These aspects include possibilities for and effects of physical design, how conversational agents should handle complex ethical and interpersonal constructs like social privacy between humans, how they might be mentally modeled, and what their roles and responsibilities are among genuine social players. I will present our work on how agent identities can play a mediating role in shaping the interactions that are situated in these complex and integrated contexts, as well as their outcomes. I will also describe several studies that explored possible future designs for agent identities as service touchpoints that “re-embody” in different physical robots, manipulated agent identity in a human-robot collaboration setting, and examined the role of embodiment in interactions between agents and ancillary users. Finally, I will discuss design implications for communication between people and multi-embodiment systems, personalized interactions in human-robot groups, and appropriate signaling for agent identity and state.

Papers covered during the talk

  • Reig, S., Luria, M., Forberger, E., Won, I., Steinfeld, A., Forlizzi, J., & Zimmerman, J. (2021, June). Social Robots in Service Contexts: Exploring the Rewards and Risks of Personalization and Re-embodiment. In Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2021 (pp. 1390-1402).

  • Reig, S., Carter, E. J., Fong, T., Forlizzi, J., & Steinfeld, A. (2021, March). Flailing, Hailing, Prevailing: Perceptions of Multi-Robot Failure Recovery Strategies. In Proceedings of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (pp. 158-167). .

  • Reig, S., Carter, E. J., Tan, X. Z., Steinfeld, A., & Forlizzi, J. (2021). Perceptions of Agent Loyalty with Ancillary Users. International Journal of Social Robotics, 1-17.

  • Reig, S., Luria, M., Wang, J. Z., Oltman, D., Carter, E. J., Steinfeld, A., Forlizzi, J., & Zimmerman, J. (2020, March). Not Some Random Agent: Multi-person interaction with a personalizing service robot. In Proceedings of the 2020 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (pp. 289-297).