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Accepted Paper:

Non-binary-coded: challenging popular anthropomorphisms of robotics and AI via non-binary, genderfluid, and intersex perspectives  
Edmund Dean (QMUL)

Paper short abstract:

Prior research by the author suggests some non-binary people are highly "possibilist" regarding the present and future capabilities of intelligent robots. I seek further evidence, and test explanations, for this phenomenon. Moreover, I construct a futurism of AI informed by these perspectives.

Paper long abstract:

In a previous paper, I tested whether and how people perceive the "ensouledness" of both fictional and real-world AI using a qualitative survey. While most respondents considered very few of the real-world examples to be "ensouled", and were divided on the fictional examples, the non-binary respondents to the survey were universally positive in considering the AI to be "ensouled". I theorize, therefore, that non-binary people may be unusually disposed to a broad vision of AI, and may not be as significantly swayed by "classical anthropomorphisms" (such as sex characteristics) as others.

This paper attempts to provide more substance to this theory through interviews with non-binary people about their lived experience of, and perspectives on, AI, and the future possibilities of AI. I also seek explanations for this phenomenon in gender theory, psychology, and the science of human-computer interaction.

I also propose that non-binary perspectives offer a helpful challenge to cis-normative perspectives on the presentation of relatable AI. If we can construct anthropomorphisms which are free from the gender binary, we may open up new ideas of how AI can - or should - look and behave. A further goal is to free the idea of anthropomorphism itself from sex- and gender-normative bias. By projecting non-binary perspectives into the future, we may be able to envision the real or potential "humanity" of AI independently from cisnormative, "default male", or ableist bias.

Panel P15
Do Androids Menstruate and/or Ejaculate: Imagining the Intersectional Future of Technology, Labour and Interstellar Ethnography
  Session 1 Thursday 9 June, 2022, -