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Frederik Vejlin

Staging Difference: Scripts, Experiments, and Artificial Sociality in Japanese Robotics Laboratories

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskning

In this paper, I build on fieldwork in Japanese robotics laboratories and discussions of sociality and experimentation in anthropology and STS to investigate the making of socially interactive robots and their use as experimental systems. I consider two issues that figure in discussions among roboticists and critics of the field alike. Firstly, I question the replication of human sociality as the benchmark for success in social robotics (cf. Breazeal 2002). Instead, I suggest understanding social robots as experimental systems for enacting alternative forms of sociality, while also potentially reconfiguring what human sociality is and can be. I propose the concept of artificial sociality to describe such processes of experimental reconfiguration. Secondly, I explore the processes of scripting involved in both the design of robotic systems and HRI experiments, which is often considered an obstacle to ‘genuine’ sociality. Here, I compare the performance of scripts in four different settings – a seminar, an interview, an article, and a documentary – all involving presentations on and discussions of what I call the Curious Robot Experiment (see Doering et al. 2019). In doing so, I lean on Steven Brown’s (2012) reflections on the resemblance between psychological experiments and stage theatre to show how processes of scripting, rather than necessarily producing controlled and pre-determined illusions of interaction, might enable the enactment of alternative figurations of sociality difficult to achieve by other means. In closing, I discuss how this reconfigures – rather than repairs, maintains, or (re)constructs – human forms of sociality.
StatusAccepteret/In press - 2022
BegivenhedDASTS 2022: Living with Ruptures: Repair, Maintenance, and (Re)Construction - Aarhus University, Aarhus, Danmark
Varighed: 2 jun. 20223 jun. 2022


KonferenceDASTS 2022
LokationAarhus University

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