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Accepted Contribution:

Observing the telepresent: the absent child and mediating materialities  
Mads Lund Andersen (Aarhus University) Frederikke Knage (Aarhus University)

Short abstract:

This paper empirically and theoretically examines the use of telepresence robots in schools as an example of human-technology relationships. It employs poststructural, postphenomenological and new-material theoretical insights to highlight and examine relationships and interactions.

Long abstract:

This 20-minute paper presentation explores the increased use of telepresence robots, as a solution to address school attendance issues among children and young people worldwide. The primary usage scenarios for such technologies, predominantly involve chronically- or long-term ill children, as well as cases involving school refusal, or disabilities. Through novel research and the employment of empirical examples, the paper examines what ethical- and social entanglements occur across different relationships, from teacher, parent, pupil, and friend(s).

An empirically founded case-example, will highlight a potential need for theoretical development and methodological development, to successfully engage with the complexities of relationships between humans and technology. Drawing upon postphenomenological, post-structural and new-materialist theoretical bases, we explore potential gaps in current research and advocate for diffractive readings to gain insight into heterogenous relational aspects of persistent school absence and the usage of mediating technologies.

Through qualitative methodology, the paper uses the case as an example of technologically mediated relationships, to underscore the importance of reading theoretical frameworks through and with one another, to gain a deeper understanding of how to make, do and explore future relationships between humans as they are mediated and/or transformed by technology.

Ultimately, the integration of new-materialism and postphenomenology offer multi-faceted analytical tools for researchers to navigate the complexities of phenomena involving human subjects and non-human objects, particularly in technology-mediated interactions. The paper concludes by highlighting potentials for further empirical exploration in the interest of unraveling the nuanced dynamics of human-technology interactions and their impact on social engagements in educational settings.

Combined Format Open Panel P272
Making and doing relationships with AI, cyborgs, robots
  Session 1 Friday 19 July, 2024, -