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Accepted Paper:

Autism: Masculinity, Machines, Robots and AI  
Kathleen Richardson (De Montfort University)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on anthropological fieldwork in robotics and therapeutic interventions in autism, this talk will examine the way in which roboticists and AI researchers draw on models of mental health when designing machines for autism therapy.

Paper long abstract:

Drawing on anthropological fieldwork in robotics and therapeutic interventions in autism, this talk will examine the way in which roboticists and AI researchers draw on models of mental health when designing machines for autism therapy. These models tell us about the connections between mechanical thinking in psychiatric paradigms and their portability to robotics and AI, demonstrating that they appear to work – but they are mimicking property relations (Richardson 2023) rather than human relations. In this I refer to machines as ‘the parts which are not changed irrespective of what is added to or taken from them’ as a framework for resisting robotics and AI to understand human relations, and argue that, ethically speaking, we should put the brakes on these interventions in favour of humanistic approaches to healthcare.

Roundtable R03
AI in holistic care and healing practices: the caring encounter beyond COVID-19
  Session 1 Wednesday 8 June, 2022, -