Social Intelligence in Humans and Robots

Workshop ICRA 2021 - May 31, June 4

Social intelligence is at the core of both human and artificial intelligence. From a young age, humans can understand, interact, collaborate, and communicate with each other. Most of what we learn is taught by others, or learned in a social context. Thus, a truly intelligent AI agent should be able to understand and work with humans as well as other AI agents.

This workshop focuses on the challenges and developments in building AI systems equipped with social intelligence, and leverages theories and insights from studies of human social intelligence for achieving such goals. In particular, the workshop will explore what it would take for machines to:

  1. Understand the behaviors and mental states of humans
  2. Engage in rich and complex interactions with humans
The workshop will bring together experts from cognitive science and developmental psychology to better understand the principles and origins of human social intelligence, and experts from AI and Robotics, to discuss how to engineer socially intelligent artificial agents, and how these paradigms can be deployed in both virtual and real scenarios.


Anca Dragan

UC Berkeley

J. Kiley Hamlin

University of British Columbia

Dorsa Sadigh

Stanford University

Rebecca Saxe

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Brian Scasselati

Yale University


Eastern Time (ET)
09:00 am - 09:15 am Introductory Remarks
09:15 am - 10:30 am Session 1: Invited Speakers (3, 20 + 5 min Q&A)
10:30 am - 10:50 am Session 1: General Q&A
10:50 am - 11:00 am Break
11:15 am - 11:40 am Session 1: Spotlight talks (5 min + 3 min Q&A each)
11:40 am - 12:15 am Poster Session
12:15 pm - 01:00 pm Lunch Break
01:00 pm - 02:15 pm Session 2: Invited Speakers (3, 20 + 5 min Q&A)
02:15 pm - 02:35 pm Session 2: General Q&A
02:35 pm - 03:20 pm Poster Session
03:20 pm - 03.45 pm Session 2: Spotlight talks (5 min + 3 min Q&A each)
03:45 pm - 04:45 pm Panel Session
04:45 pm - 05:00 pm Concluding Remarks

Call for papers
New: The call for papers is now open.

Areas of interest
We will accept submissions focusing on Human and Robot Social Intelligence. Topics include but are not limited to:

  1. Social Perception and Theory of Mind: How do humans acquire theory of mind capabilities? What computational models approximate these capabilities in humans?
  2. Human Cooperation Competition and Communication: Origins and development of human communication or competition; Inference of these relationships.
  3. Machine Theory of Mind: How to infer what an agent or robot knows about an environment? How to make robots learn about the minds of other robots or humans?
  4. Human-Robot Interaction: Methods to understand human intentions or offer assistance; social perception, communication between humans and robots; learning to convey information for better collaboration; probing and gathering information for collaboration.
  5. Interdisciplinary Studies: We welcome works that integrate efforts in cognitive sciences and robotics to advance studies in both fields.
We welcome research papers of no more than 4 pages, not including references.

The paper submission deadline is on April 9th, 11.59pm (PST) May 1st, 11.59pm (PST). Papers should be submitted to Submissions should follow the ICRA template, and be submitted as .pdf files. The review process will be double blind, and therefore the papers should be appropriately anonymized.

Accepted papers will be presented during a joint poster session, with best submissions selected for spotlight oral presentations. Accepted papers will be made available online on the workshop website as non-archival reports, allowing submissions to future conferences or journals.

Important Dates
  • Call for papers opens: Monday, March 8th
  • Submission deadline: Friday, April 9th, 2021 (23.59 PST) May 1st, 2021 (23.59 PST)
  • Author Notifications: Friday, April 30th, 2021 (23.59pm PST) Friday, May 14th, 2021 (23.59 PST)
  • Camera Ready: Friday, May 14th, 2021 (23.59pm PST) Friday, May 21st, 2021 (23.59pm PST)

Frequently Asked Questions
For more questions about the workshop, contact us at

Will the workshop be online?
All the workshop be online. Invited talks and spotlights will be recorded, with live Q&A sessions and discussions.

How can I attend this workshop?
You can attend this workshop by registering through the ICRA 2021 website. Note that you do not need to register for the full conference if you plan to attend this workshop. The registration is free if you are only registering for Workshops and Tutorials online.

Can I submit previously published work?
We welcome new unpublished work into the workshop. You can however submit work that is concurrently under review in a conference or joural.

What happens if my paper is accepted at the workshop?
We will post your paper in the workshop website, and you will be abe to present a poster through Some selected papers will also have a spotlight presentation, which will be recorded and played during the workshop. Note that accepted papers will be non-archival and they can still be submitted in other journals and conferences.


Xavier Puig

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tianmin Shu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Shuang Li

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Andreea Bobu

UC Berkeley

Shari Liu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mengxi Li

Stanford University

Sanja Fidler

University of Toronto, NVIDIA

Antonio Torralba

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Reach out to for any questions.