Session 17: Future Values

Friday August 23, 10:55-11:25 CEST, Auditorium 2 (1441-112)

Karen Lancaster, University of Nottingham, UK

Dr Karen Lancaster completed her PhD in Philosophy in 2023. Her thesis examined some ethical issues relating to care robots in residential homes for elderly people: specifically, issues of deception, dignity, care, and consent. She now works as a Research Fellow in Engineering, where she is investigating how the introduction of digital technologies at work can affect employees' dignity, and whether / how an office robot can improve employees’ wellbeing. She has previously published work on carebots (“The Robotic Touch”), and sexbots (“Granny and the Sexbots”; “Nonconsensual Personified Sexbots”). 

Time, Effort, Skill, and Creative Thought: Why Human Labour Will Remain Valuable When Compared With Social Robots

Human workers have been displaced by technology since the first industrial revolution began 300 years ago; today, increasingly sophisticated social robots are in development and could potentially replace many (human) workers. Many tasks which have hitherto been the reserve of humans can now be performed better, quicker, and more efficiently by social robots or generative AI. It may therefore appear that human skills and human labour are less valuable than ever before.  However, I argue that the advances in AI and social robotics may actually make human-designed and handmade items more valuable by comparison. I argue that we already value handmade items more highly than their mass-produced counterparts simply because they were made by humans; I offer three reasons for this higher valuation. Firstly, we value the time and effort of a human worker; secondly, we admire the human’s skill and creativity, and the thought they put into their work, and thirdly, handmade items are often more variable in their form, and rarity increases value.  I note that although social robots may be able to produce rare or unique items, we will nevertheless continue to value human-made items and human-provided services, because we value the time, effort, creativity, skill, and thoughtfulness of human workers, but not AI / social robots. This means that, in at least some fields, the introduction of AI / social robots will not devalue human labour; instead, human labour will seem all the more valuable in comparison to robot ‘labour’

Friday August 23, 11:30-12:00 CEST, Auditorium 2 (1441-112)

Johanna Seibt, Aarhus University, Denmark

Johanna Seibt is professor for philosophy at the Department for Philosophy and the History of Ideas, Aarhus University, Denmark. She coordinates the interdisciplinary Research Unit for Robophilosophy and Integrative Social Robotics  where since 2016 more than 30 local and interactional associated researchers from 11 disciplines have collaborated on various projects of HRI research, developing 'learning by doing' the approach of “Integrative Social Robotics” (ISR). Together with Christina Vestergaard and Malene Damholdt, Seibt has contributed the descriptive framework ("OASIS") that is used in the ISR approach. 

Oliver S. Quick, Aarhus University, Denmark

Oliver Santiago Quick, PhD is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Research Unit for Robophilosophy and Integrative Social Robotics, at Aarhus University. His research is primarily centered around the role of social robots in creative collaborations with humans, robot moral status, and the ethics and phenomenology of empathy and sympathy in human-robot interactions. 

Christina Vestergaard, Aarhus University and VIA College, Denmark

Christina Vestergaard is Senior Associate Professor at VIA University College, at VIA’s Research Center for Health and Society, as well as researcher at the interdisciplinary Research Unit for Robophilosophy and Integrative Social Robotics at Aarhus University.  She holds a PhD in anthropology and is a certified conflict facilitator; her current research specializations areconflict research and HRI. She conducts qualitative research and co-developed the mixed method strategy of Integrative Social Robotics.  Her publications are currently focused on conflict research, conflict facilitation with robots, HRI, anthropology of technology, and methodology of HRI. 

Malene F. Damholdt, Aarhus University, Denmark

Malene Flensborg Damholdt is associate professor in psychology, at the Department ofPpsychology and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, and at the  Department of Clinical medicine, Aarhus University. She collaborates with other ISR researchers on exploring individual differences and other psychological aspects in HRI settings. Furthermore, she is interested in fostering and introducing more stringent research methods (for instance as known from biomedical research) into HRI research.

On Value Analysis and Axiological Dynamics—A Contribution to Integrative Social Robotics

How can we analyze value experiences in interactions, how can we trace their dynamics?  In this paper we contribute a clarificatory building block to Integrative Social Robotics (ISR), a value-driven approach to social robotics that is geared to cultural sustainable (value-preserving) or positive (value-enhancing) application. In ISR the R&D process for an application begins with a value-analysis of the application context, to identify a network of target values; these target values are engaged in an ongoing value discourse involving all stakeholders which guides the development of the application. In this paper we offer theoretical and methodological preliminaries to clarify this important first step in the ISR approach, focusing on the multiple realizability of values and value change. While our considerations are formulated with reference to the particular descriptive framework used in ISR, they carry implications for ‘responsible’ robotics’ in general.