Matilda conducts her first job interview (Issue 46, 2010)


Dr Rajiv Khosla with the two robots, Jack and Matilda

La Trobe robots are set to be stars of the national television ABC's 'New Inventors' program. Dr Rajiv Khosla, Associate Professor of Management, was invited onto the series to showcase La Trobe's Research Centre for Computers, Communication and Social Innovation (RECCSI) research into aged care and human resource management with the emotionally-intelligent robots.

Dr Khosla travelled to the ABC studios in Sydney last week to film the segment and was pleased to announce that Matilda, a communication robot, conducted her very first job interview on the show. Matilda interviewed James O’Laughlin, the TV program’s host to determine whether he was passionate enough for a sales job.

Matilda asked James a total of 76 questions to benchmark his emotional fitness and cultural compatibility with other sales staff at a company. During the interview, Matilda used head nods, speech sensors and emotional sensors to determine whether James was a suitable candidate. Matilda also performed an endearing dance for the show’s audience to demonstrate how excited she was to be interviewing James.

The 'New Inventors' program to be aired in February 2010, will also demonstrate the way these RECCSI robots are involved with health and aged care research. Matilda and another RECCSI robot, Jack, will be seen interacting with an elderly person who participated in the show.

In addition to the recent TV attention, RECCSI has just been selected as one of the most innovative research centres in Australia by Brand Australia and on behalf of Austrade.

Dr Khosla and Matilda will appear on the ABC's 'New Inventors' program at 8pm on 16 March 2011.