The "robotic moment" (Turkle 2011) is no longer on the horizon—we are living it now. Given the rapid development in social robotics, we are now at that potential turning point in human cultural history during which we need to react to concrete visions, by the robotics research industry, of placing artificial ‘social’ agents ubiquitously into the public and private spaces of human social interactions. How shall we respond? And who is to respond? If we are changing the 'human condition' at its foundations, can humanity rise to the occasion?
This conference is motivated by two premises First, the challenge of social robotics can only be met by a joint research effort across disciplines. Since the questions forced upon us by social robotics reach deeply into the fabric of our cultural self-comprehension, we need close collaborations among researchers in robotics, anthropology, psychology, cognitive science, education science, linguistics, interaction studies, and philosophy. Only by way of research collaborations can we work out concrete and constructive responses that can guide developers and producers of this new technology, as well as those who will be exposed to it.
Second, empirical and normative research must go hand in hand, from the very beginning of design. Researchers need to be proactive—we need to explore what robots can and should do, continuously, in a tight feedback loop between (1) engineering, (2) empirical (quantitative but especially also qualitative) research on human-robot interactions, and (3) research on our conceptual, practical, cultural, and ethical norms. Roboethics must not be an afterthought on readymade applications.
The aim of this conference is thus to highlight and advance a growing realization in the HRI community that the issues of social robotics require that we address factual and normative questions at the same time. The event shall present research in "integrated social robotics"—a collaborative interdisciplinary engagement towards responsible creations of new forms of sociality in human-robot interactions that are tightly linked to our normative discussion about human well-being and human values.
The conference will have the format of a large international research conference with 13 plenaries and 74 talks in parallel sessions and workshops, following the model of Robophilosophy 2014.
The conference is organized by TRANSOR, an interdisciplinary international research network for Transdisciplinary Studies in Social Robotics.
While Robophilosophy /TRANSOR 2016 is a research conference conference, it will also feature recent initiatives for how to create collaborative practices that concretely implement the integration of Humanities research into robotics. Representatives of:
The Foundation for Responsible Robotics
The Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in teh Design of Autonomous Systems,
will inform in session presentations and workshops about the aims and activities of their organizations.
October 17-21, 2016
8000 Aarhus C
The conference is an initiative of TRANSOR, and interdisciplinary international research network for Transdisciplinary Studies in Social Robotics.
Johanna Seibt, Marco Nørskov.
Research Unit for Robophilosophy, School for Culture and Society, Aarhus University
Press contact: Marco Nørskov.
The conference is supported by a grants from the the Carlsberg Foundation, Danish Council for Independent Research and The Velux Foundation.