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AI in holistic care and healing practices: the caring encounter beyond COVID-19 
Runa Lazzarino (Middlesex University)
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Irena Papadopoulos (Middlesex University)
Wednesday 8 June, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

In holistic care and healing, the body and the physical presence of receivers and providers are essential, as often spiritual care and other bodily manipulations are involved. In this multidisciplinary roundtable, we reflect on how AI is changing the caring encounter towards post-human scenarios.

Long Abstract:

In holistic care, traditional medicines and non-biomedical healing, the physical presence of receivers and providers is essential, as they often incorporate spiritual care and therapies, as well as touching, manual techniques and other bodily manipulations. Approximating rituals, in these practices, (health)care and religion/spirituality blend. This blending has also strengthened within the growing paradigm of culturally competent and compassionate care (Papadopoulos, 2018). COVID-19 pandemic has forced unprecedented changes in care, which revolve around the three interconnected elements of solitude, disembodiment, and technologies. On the one hand, intercorporeality (Merleau-Ponty, 2013) in holistic care is inalienable, and this makes it problematic to be offered via the use of AI devices, such as social robots. Healing and care sit within the ethical and existential dimension of being there with the other (Heidegger, 2019). On the other hand, the COVID-19 crisis, post-human theories (Braidotti, 2013) and advances in AI technologies open up new ways of conceptualising the caring presence. In our roundtable we welcome interventions and conversations discussing the implications of the use of different types of AI devices designed for, or used in, practices of holistic care, within and outside biomedicine, and from a variety of cultural contexts. Speakers from different disciplines are welcome: digital religion studies, medical anthropology, social robotics, ethics, phenomenology and other philosophical approaches, and health and social care sciences. The aim of the roundtable is to ignite a multi-perspective, participatory reflection on how AI technologies are changing the caring encounter, the body, and being-there, disclosing post-Anthropocenic scenarios.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 8 June, 2022, -