Determining the Subjective Surplus in Social Role Performance: A Case for ISR

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Purely functional definitions of social roles in terms of codified task structures suggest that robots may be able to perform some or all of the tasks of a social role. However, in order to determine what we will ‘gain or lose’ when using robots to perform a social role R in context C, we need to determine whether the performance of R in C (i) requires capacities traditionally associated with human ‘subjectivity’, and (ii) allows for, or requires, a ‘subjective surplus’, that is, individual variations in role performance that are possible due to the capacities of subjectivity. The ’subjective surplus’ of R in C can have positive or negative effects for the performance of this role. The panel presented the approach of Integrative Social Robotics (ISR) as a method for analyzing perceptions and functions of the subjective surplus within a concrete institutional context, with special attention to subjective surplus factors that are traditionally thought to be indispensable, such as empathy, sympathy, and spontaneity (free will).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Robots in Social Institutions - Proceedings of Robophilosophy 2022 : Proceedings of Robophilosophy 2022
Number of pages10
PublisherIOS Press
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print) 978-1-64368-374-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-64368-375-1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventRobophilosophy Conference 2022 - Helsinki
Duration: 16 Aug 202219 Aug 2022


ConferenceRobophilosophy Conference 2022
SeriesFrontiers of Artificial Intelligence and Applications


  • Integrative Social Robotics
  • anthropology
  • empathy
  • experiential novelty
  • mixed methods
  • ontology
  • psychology
  • sociality analysis
  • subjectivity
  • sympathy


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