American Cinematheque Los Angeles, CA


Shihan Lu, M.S.

Doctoral Student, University of Southern California

After Yang— "Let me tell you about my best friend": A.I. companionship and relationships onscreen

"Let me tell you about my best friend..." Explore what AI companionship and relationships look like onscreen.

As technology rapidly advances, what will the future relationships between robots and humans look like? The research being done today shows trends. In our interactive session with Shihan Lu, we will discuss his research areas and past lab experience, specifically looking at the science of touch and how that is being incorporated into modern day robots. In the Haptics Robotics and Virtual Interaction lab at the University of Southern California, researchers explore how humans interact with our world, robots, and technology through touch. Shihan's paper titled "Active Acoustic Sensing for Robot Manipulation" had many conclusions for this interaction. We will hear the research behind these current studies and Shihan's thoughts on the future.

American Cinematheque Los Angeles, CA

Film Synopsis

In a near future, a family reckons with questions of love, connection, and loss after their A.I. helper unexpectedly breaks down.

    When his young daughter's beloved companion — an android named Yang — malfunctions, Jake (Colin Farrell) searches for a way to repair him. In the process, Jake discovers the life that has been passing in front of him, reconnecting with his wife (Jodie Turner-Smith) and daughter across a distance he didn't know was there.

    Photo credit: A24

      About the Speaker

      Shihan Lu is a researcher and final-year PhD student in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southern California. Working with Dr. Heather Culbertson, his doctorate is focused in the areas of haptics and robotics. Prior to USC, he obtained his Master Degree at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from Hefei University of Technology.

      During his master's study, he worked in the Interaction & Collaboration Research Lab under Prof. Jessie Yang and Robotics and Motion Lab under Prof. David Remy. He worked as a Research Assistant in the Thermoacoustics Laboratory at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) and the Laboratory of Robotics and Intelligent Manufacturing at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in his senior year of undergraduate studies.