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building collaboration between anthropologists and engineers working in robotics, artificial intelligence, and informatics




Anthropology for Affective Robotics (AfAR) is a workshop platform for building collaboration between anthropologists and engineers working in robotics, artificial intelligence, and informatics. It is designed as both an anthropological intervention for ethnographic research as well as a means for expanding interdisciplinary communication between humanities and robotics researchers in order to foster emotion modeling and theorizing practices that are sensitive to cultural diversity. It has two primary mechanisms for collaboration: workshops and collaborative design projects.


I. Workshops are hosted by Model Emotion researchers and designed to broaden opportunities for both anthropologists and engineers to share approaches to the modeling of culture, communication, and emotion. The workshops have three primary aims:

  1. Create platforms for mutual exchange and benefit between anthropologists and engineers on the latest methods for modeling culture and emotion

  2. Increase awareness of cultural variability in order to improve modeling practices in laboratories and companies working on robotics and AI

  3. Establish sustainable connections between the human and hard sciences for thinking about the social, ethical, political, and legal implications of AI and robotics research


Workshops can be organized for scientists, students, or those in industry working in the fields of robotics, AI, informatics, gaming or anyone else interested in modeling culture, communication, and especially emotion. The Model Emotion researchers invite inquiries from any interested individuals or groups on scheduling workshops. For more information, contact us at one of the addresses below.


II. Collaborative design projects bring together anthropologists and engineers in order to integrate qualitative inquiries into the diversity of emotional experience with quantitative modeling practices that seek to supplement emotional intelligence through the assistance of artificial intelligence. As computer scientists Ruth Aylett and Ana Paiva (2012: 253) observe in Emotion Review, “In order to implement any model on a computer, the model itself must be sufficiently specific. From this perspective, many psychological models are not usable as they stand, but must be operationalized. Qualitative relationships must be quantified.” While the quantification process may sacrifice attention to the variety of detailed emotional variation that comes with thick ethnographic description, qualitative approaches may on the other hand be missing opportunities to supplement their tools of observation, introspection, and critique with strategies developed through creative collaborations between humans and machines. Recognizing the potential of interdisciplinary collaboration at all stages of the design process, from theory to research design, project implementation, data collection, and critique, AfAR brings together anthropologists and engineers, as well as artists and other collaborators, in order to explore new ways of thinking innovatively and responsibly about emotional AI.

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「情動ロボティックスのための人類学」(英語名:Anthropology for Affective Robotics [以下AfAR]) は人類学者とロボティクス・人工知能・情報学分野のエンジニアとのコラボレーションのためのワークショップを中心としたプラットフォーム形成を目的とする。主催のダニエル・ホワイトと勝野宏史は”Model Emotion”(感情のモデル化)というプロジェクトにおいて人類学・AIそしてウェルビーイングを融合させた研究領域の開拓を行っており、本ワークショップはその一部として文化人類学の視点からロボティクス・AIのシステムと感情の多様性との接点の可能性について探求するものである。




  1. 人類学者とエンジニアが文化と感情のモデル化についての最新の理論・方法について意見交換するプラットフォームの構築

  2. ロボティクスやAI研究におけるモデル化の精度を高めるための文化の多様性・変動性への認識の向上

  3. AIやロボット研究に付随する社会的、倫理的、政治的そして法的関連性について考えるための人間科学と自然科学との持続可能な関係性の確立







  1. ラボのメンバーによる研究プロジェクトの説明。特に、文化や感情のモデル化に際してのアプローチや直面している問題について。

  2. 人類学における文化と感情の基本的な理論について、最新の知見も含めて紹介。

  3. 対話セッション

  • (ア)人類学者側からロボティクス・AI研究側への質問・指摘・提案

  • (イ)ラボメンバーから人類学者への質問・指摘・提案





ダニエル・ホワイト (

勝野宏史 (hkatsuno at



Get in touch with us to schedule a workshop. Send us an email at one of the addresses below, or visit our contact page for a quick inquiry. We are currently in the Kyoto area but can travel throughout Japan, and beyond.

Daniel White:

Hirofumi Katsuno: hkatsuno at

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