NEW PUBLICATION ON ROBOT DIVERSITY IN ANTHROPOLOGY NEWS
See here for a new article in Anthropology News on how "the global growth of interest in building machines with artificial emotional intelligence sheds surprising light on how engineers in Japan are reimagining diversity through companion robots." The article discusses how discourses on diversity and social justice are being applied to provocative concepts of "robot-inclusive diversity." Ultimately, the piece proposes that if the future of diversity in Japan is robot-inclusive, it is also one incorporating a history of people grappling over certain human exclusions.
TWO NEW PUBLICATIONS WITH OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
See here for two new publications within the book, Imagining AI: How the World Sees Intelligent Machines, edited by Stephen Cave and Kanta Dihal from the University of Cambridge Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence. The introduction is a multi-authored piece introducing how the term "AI" has been translated into different cultural regions. Our own coauthored chapter 19 is open access and discusses engineering robots with heart in Japan as a political practice of cultural difference-making.
See here for a new publication in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, titled, "Modelling Emotion, Perfecting Heart: Disassembling Technologies of Affect with an Android Bodhisattva in Japan." The piece explores how partnerships between Buddhists and engineers can constructively challenge Western models of emotion, creating experimental spaces for positive emotional relationships between humans and machines.
JOINING THE LEVERHULME CENTRE FOR THE FUTURE OF INTELLIGENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Since March 2021 the Model Emotion team has joined the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence to work with an interdisciplinary group of scholars to think about how to diversify models of AI. We are looking forward to some upcoming collaborative publications on the different cultural approaches and imaginaries of AI, with our own contributions from Japan.
See here for our latest coauthored publication in Cultural Anthropology, titled, "Toward an Affective Sense of Life: Artificial Intelligence, Animacy, and Amusement at a Robot Pet Memorial Service in Japan." The piece revisits the phenomenon of funerary services in Japan for Sony's pet robot AIBO in order to develop a less ethnocentric perspective on the social role of animation within a growing market in Japan for both companion robots and AI research.
NEW INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH COLLABORATION
From January 2020 through March 2023, the Model Emotion team joins an interdisciplinary and international research project, titled, "Rule of Law in the Age of AI: Distributive Principles of Legal Liability for Multi-Species Societies." The project is funded by the The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) of the UK and the Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society (RISTEX) of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). The project responds to a call by the funding agencies to "invite high quality proposals between UK and Japanese researchers to explore the impact Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies may have on society and the economy." The project draws together researchers from robotics, automation, psychology, law, and anthropology to examine problems for determining legal liability within networks of distributed human-machine agency. Hirofumi Katsuno serves as the Senior Social Science Investigator for the project.
December 1, 2019
TWO NEW PUBLICATIONS
Two new publications have been posted to the project's Publications page. The first ("Cultural Anthropology for Social Emotion Modeling") is an article written for engineers in the field of affective robotics, and presented at the 8th International Conference on Affective Computing & Intelligent Interaction at the University of Cambridge, in September 2019. It offers suggestions for building anthropological notions of culture into affective robotics, and aims to build a bridge between the humanities and hard sciences in relation to emotion modeling for robots. The second ("The Mechanics of Fear: Re-envisioning Anxiety through Emerging Technologies of Affect") is an article published in the German journal History of Technology, and addresses how the modeling of robots in Japan that express anxiety poses questions for psychologists studying fear.
July 26, 2019
OPEN WORKSHOP: "FEELING WELL WITH COMPANION ROBOTS"
Organized in conjunction with Professor Yu Niiya of the Global and Interdisciplinary Studies Department at Hosei University, this workshop brings together psychologists and other social scientists with members of industry to discuss the implications for affective wellbeing of emerging companion robots equipped with artificial emotional intelligence. The workshop will also feature a Touch & Try Experience with Groove X's newest family-style robot LOVOT. Those outside of Hosei University interested in attending should visit the workshop page and RSVP at the indicated address.
July 9 & 12, 2019
WORKSHOPS ON EMOTIONAL AI
On July 9 and 12 Model Emotion team members Dan and Hiro participated in two workshops in Tokyo on the social, political, and ethical implications of emerging technologies equipped with emotional AI. Organized by a fantastic team of researchers in the UK and Japan, the workshops brought together specialists across academics, industry, and the public sector. Workshop 1 addressed emotional AI in commercial and civic life, with Workshop 2 engaged more specifically with security and policing. See here for more information on the workshops and on the Emotional AI research project more generally. Also check out Andrew McStay's fantastic overview of emotional AI in his recent book that provided the foundation for much of the workshop content.
June 3, 2019
TECHNOLOGIES OF PRESENCE: MODELING EMOTION IN ROBOTS WITH HEART
Hiro and Dan presented some recent ethnographic findings at the German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo, Japan. Our thanks to everyone at the DIJ for facilitating such an engaging discussion.
April 24, 2019
AVOIDING BIAS IN AI: ACROSS ETHICS AND DIVERSITY
Dan recently joined a roundtable discussion at AI/SUM 2019, with Ashley Casovan, Director, Digital and Data, Government of Canada; Michael Lanzetta, Director, Applied Machine Learning - Asia, Microsoft; and Charles Ovink, Associate Political Affairs Officer, UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in the Asia and the Pacific.