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Times Higher Education - My friend the robot
Is the very process of humanising machines enough to call into question the boundary between a human and machine?

Dautenhahn thinks not. "Interface" is the term she chooses to explain why she uses humanoid features in her research. "In my work, I employ some humanoid aspects in the design of the robots, but this is mainly as an interface. People like to know where to speak and look when talking to a machine." Yet much research is focused on imparting human behavioural qualities to machines.

The Cognitive Robot Companion, or Cogniron, project aims to design machines with manners. Cogniron researchers believe that a robot with manners could help humans relate to it more comfortably. In addition to "robotiquette", other researchers have embarked on making robots that can trigger human empathy. At the University of the West of England, roboticist Peter Jaeckel is studying how to get a person to feel empathy with a machine. Jaeckel's human-like robotic platform Eva (designed by David Hanson at the University of Texas) does this by mimicking facial expressions. Jaeckel wants Eva to perform the expected facial responses to humans who interact with it.

But can companion robots benefit the elderly? In studies of elderly-robot relations, a person's biographical details often reveal a complex picture, with the elderly-robot relationship positively affected, often directly, by illness or feelings of estrangement from the person's family. Sherry Turkle, professor of science, technology and society at MIT, was until last year a distinguished supporter of robot care for the elderly. In her work, she has examined the therapeutic role of robots as relational objects. The robots' use as an outlet for anger or loneliness were some of the positive results found in studies such as Turkle's, but these results cannot be separated from the challenging situations that many elderly people face.
emoticomp  robots 
february 2011 by tobybarnes
Programmed for Love: The Unsettling Future of Robotics - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
n Turkle's view, many of us are already a little too cozy with our machines—the smartphones and laptops we turn to for distraction and comfort so often that we can forget how to sit quietly with our own thoughts. In that way, she argues, science fiction has become reality: We are already cyborgs, reliant on digital devices in ways that many of us could not have imagined just a few years ago.
culture  media  psychology  science  emoticomp 
january 2011 by tobybarnes
Ben Bashford - Notebook of Things - Emoticomp
The network of things: designing for emotional engagement, character, and attention (or lack of).
design  interaction  technology  emotion  internetofthings  emoticomp  future  behaviour  from instapaper
january 2011 by garrettc
Ben Bashford - Notebook of Things - Emoticomp
"How would you go about designing the characters of connected devices, services & appliances?"
Emoticomp  Design  Persona  WirelessGrids  EmotionalComputing 
january 2011 by imranx

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