Public Lecture Series on Robotics in Society

Kerstin D

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2017 Lecture - A Fatal Attraction?

Why people are fascinated by robots, and what to do about it

Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn, University of Hertfordshire

(Most) people are attracted to robots, and there are certain reasons behind it. Firstly, many people are fascinated by cutting edge technology demonstrating how far we can push the technological boundaries. Secondly, and importantly, robots are typically perceived as intentional creatures, and as such we perceive them as animated or even alive, leading to attributions of animal or human-like qualities and features that are not grounded in the robots' actual capabilities. My talk will address differences between biological and artificial creatures, and how the common perception of robots as "persons" can mislead us and raise expectations that the robots' are not (yet, or never will be) able to fulfil. An alternative view focusses on the machine-like qualities and functionalities that robots are good at and which open up promising applications that can benefit society e.g. in healthcare applications, such as assisting older people in their own homes or teaching children with autism about communication and social interaction.
Biography: Kerstin Dautenhahn, Senior Member IEEE, is Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the School of Computer Science at University of Hertfordshire in U.K. where she coordinates the Adaptive Systems Research Group. She has published more than 300 research articles. Prof. Dautenhahn has edited several books and frequently gives invited keynote lectures. She has been Principal Investigator of her research team in several European, nationally and internationally funded projects. Prof. Dautenhahn is Founding Editor in Chief of the journal Interaction Studies: Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems, as well as Associate Editor of Adaptive Behaviour (Sage Publications), the International Journal of Social Robotics (Springer), IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing and the IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development.

Come and join us. The event is free but registration is essential.

When: Monday, 19th June 2017, 5.00pm-7.30pm (refreshments and demonstrations at 5.00, lecture at 6.00)
Where: Victoria Gallery & Museum, Ashton Street, Liverpool L69 3DR