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Accepted Paper:

Reconfiguring Human-Robot Interaction  
Christina Vestergaard (Aarhus University) malene flensborg Damholdt (Aarhus University) Johanna Seibt (Aarhus University)

Paper short abstract:

Engaging with fields of emerging future technology such as AI and social robots normally dominated by engineers, the paper introduce an interdisciplinary methodology which aim to ensure ethical, conceptual and practical reconfigurations of the research, design, and development of social robotics.

Paper long abstract:

Future technologies such as AI and robots are often described in each end of a continuum between utopian expectations and dystopian fears - either future technologies will save the world’s problems or be the downfall of humanity. Yet, a retrospective look at technological developments shows us that futures will emerge in complex social entanglements and there are multiple potential futures, where humans play an active role in using and appropriating emerging technologies. However, humanities has had very little involvement in Human-Robot Interaction research (HRI), which has generated a research landscape based on quantitative methods unsuitable to trace certain behavioral or phenomenological dynamics of HRI. Humanities researchers need to address questions about how technological developments will affect human social lives and have a responsibility in researching how imaginaries of future technologies shape investments and policies, but also to do speculative research about how technologies and technical practices can affect social lives. Rather than leaving the invention of technology to engineers and wait to research the social impact afterwards, the humanities need to think about not only what technology can do, but also what happens when people appropriate future technology - maybe in other ways than anticipated. The paper discusses how interdisciplinary theoretical and experimental collaborations led us to suggest a mixed-method approach - Integrative Social Robotics - to describe the complexity and dynamics of human experience in interaction with social robots, which in turn led to the development of a new concept for understanding human sensemaking of robots - sociomorphing.

Panel P01e
AI and interdisciplinary Futures Anthropology
  Session 1 Friday 10 June, 2022, -