Ethics and inscription in social robot design. A visual ethnography

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In this paper, by turning to examples of visual inscriptions adopted within HRI research, and more specifically social robotic interaction, I wish to explore through visual ethnography some of the challenges faced in designing ethical robots. Firstly, visual ethnography allows for an alternative categorisation of the inscriptions of HRI based on visual characteristics. Secondly, visual inscriptions show multiple and paradoxical meanings when appearing juxtaposed revealing challenges of diminished and asymmetric consideration of human orientated concerns in favour of technical and experimental certainty. Thirdly, by taking a human orientated perspective of experimental arrangements, the understanding of ethics becomes a way of framing and of looking at inscriptions. The paper calls for a better understanding of the role of inscription practices in HRI generally in order to find new approaches useful to bolster a more robust inclusion of ethics within the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-76
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

    Research areas

  • design artifacts, design inscriptions, design representation, ethics, HRI, social robotics, visual analysis, visual ethnography, visual inscriptions, visual studies

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