Vivienne Bihe Chi

Human-Robot Interaction | Social Cognition

I’m a third year PhD student at Brown Univerisity CLPS advised by Bertram Malle. My current research investigates human social cognition and social norms in the context of Human-Robot Interaction. I am a part of the Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative at Brown.

In Spring 2019, I graduated from University of Michigan with double majors in Computer Science and Cognitive Science, minors in Linguistics and German studies. As an undergrad, I worked at Professor John Laird’s SOAR group at UM.

Apart from research, I enjoy watching artistic movies, travelling and horseback riding.



current projects

Teaching Norms to Social Robots

a collaboration project at the Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative

​Human behavior is powerfully guided by social and moral norms. Robots that enter human societies must therefore behave in norm-conforming ways as well. However, there is currently no cognitive, let alone computational model available of how humans represent, activate, and learn norms. We offer first steps toward such a model and apply it to the design of a norm-competent social robot. We propose a general methodology for such a design, from empirical investigation of human teaching behaviors to computational implementations of norm learning.

Chi, V. B, Malle, B. F (2022). Instruct or Evaluate: How People Choose to Teach Norms to Social Robots. Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction

Hsiung, E., Rosen, E., Chi, V. B, Malle, B. F (2022). Learning Reward Functions from a Combination of Demonstration and Evaluative Feedback. Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction

B. F. Malle, E. Rosen, V. B. Chi, M. Berg and P. Haas, "A General Methodology for Teaching Norms to Social Robots," 2020 29th IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), 2020, pp. 1395-1402, doi: 10.1109/RO-MAN47096.2020.9223610.

Social Norm Representation

Social and moral norms are believed to be activated in highly context-specific ways and systematically organized in human cognition. In any given context (e.g., a public bathroom, a colleague’s office), it appears that a set of covarying norms is activated specifically suitable for this context. My research tries to answer two related questions: What cognitive processes drive people’s norm activation upon entering a scene and especially the covariation among a specific set of norms? Second, how can we computationally represent this activation process? Two network models can be schematically distinguished.

Malle, B. F, Austerweil, J. L, Chi, V. B, Kenett, Y., Beck, E. D, Thapa, S., & Allaham, M. (2021). Cognitive Properties of Norm Representations. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 43.

Chi, Vivienne B, Malle, Bertram F. “Dos and Don'ts in Social Contexts: Diverging Cognitive Activation of Prescription and Prohibition Norms” Talk at Association for Psychological Science Virtual Convention 2021

Chi, V. B, Malle, B. F (in prep). Towards a Model of Social Norm Activation

bits of joys in life

In 2018, I braved the winter to the extreme and spent a memorable winter holiday in Alaska!
Started playing bass guitar as my quarantine hobby-can't wait to share my progress!
I've lived in 6 different cities and Tianjin, China is where I call home <3
If I have to name a favorite movie, I'll probably pick Cold War(2018)
recent reads
Love being around horses and learning the beautiful sports