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Artificial Sociality and Social Robots

IMC Seminar by Frederik Vejlin and Mads Jensen

2020.10.09 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Date Tue 20 Oct
Time 11:00 12:30
Location Zoom Meeting ID 563 610 6271

Experiments in Artificial Sociality

In this talk, I will introduce my ongoing PhD research on the development of social robots in Japanese robotics laboratories. In my work, I study how roboticists in Japan attempt to reproduce human sociality in technological systems (i.e. they build social robots) but also how they use these robots as experimental tools for scientifically exploring what it means to be human. Specifically, I am interested in how this constructive process, building-experimenting-building (and so on), might potentially challenge and extend our common-sense notions of social interactions and relations. Thus, in contrast to recent critiques of social robotics in the humanities and social sciences, I am not convinced that the apparent inability to adequately simulate the components of human sociality in social robots makes it a doomed enterprise to be hastily abandoned. Rather, I suggest that social robotics should be seen as an invitation to experimentally explore the limits of sociality within, between, and beyond humans. As an example of such experimental processes of expansion, I describe a series of HRI experiments that I participated in and observed during previous fieldwork, and which were designed to test the implementation of curiosity in the humanoid robot Robovie.


Frederik Vejlin, PhD Student
School of Culture and Society
Department of Anthroplogy


Social robots and the uncanny valley


Mads Jensen, Assistant Professor
School of Culture and Society
Interacting Minds Centre