Sarah Sebo

I am an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago where I direct the UChicago Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) Lab.

I received my PhD in Computer Science from Yale University in 2020 and my Bachelors in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in 2014.

My current research explores social dynamics in human-robot interactions. I seek to transform interactions with robots that are stale, scripted, and transactional to interactions that feel more like talking to a friend - socially engaging, intuitive, and meaningful. I focus on applications that directly result in positive outcomes for people (e.g., improved performance in human-robot teams, enhanced educational learning outcomes for children, seamless interactions with in-home assistant robots). I encourage you to learn more about my current work by visiting my lab website.

I am currently looking for motivated undergraduate and graduate students interested in human-robot / human-AI interaction. If you are interested in getting involved with my research group, click here.

Featured Work

My work investigating how vulnerablility shapes human-to-human social dynamics in human-robot teams has demonstrated that the vulnerable utterances of a robot increases the likelihood that human team members express trust-related behavior towards one another (HRI 2018) and also positively shapes the conversational dynamics of the human members of the human-robot team (PNAS 2020). This work is among the first to show that in human-robot teams the actions of a robot can influence how humans in the group interact with each other. Check out the following video for more details on this work.