Social robotics is one of the most important emerging technologies with potentially profound socio-cultural impact. However, the current interdisciplinary research areas of “social robotics” and “Human Robot Interaction” (HRI) are not yet equipped with the necessary conceptual tools in order to design interactions between humans and robots. New approaches for effective yet context-adequate social interactions are needed, that observe overarching ethical principles and take larger socio-cultural perspectives into account. 

Our social world is highly complex--the social context of a human-robot interaction consists of the multiplicity of roles, norms, conventions, and social practices that we, as humans, explicitly or implicitly define to handle our daily lives together. Even though roboticists did acknowledge this complexity from the very beginning of social robotics (cf. e.g. Breazeal, 2003), we still lack a general theoretical framework for describing a social interaction context, and stating general and specific requirements. This is partly due to the fact that social robotics and HRI (Human-Robot Interaction Studies) are multidisciplinary fields. Researchers from social sciences (Seibt, 2014, 2020 Fiebich et al. 2015; Misselhorn 2015) have offered frameworks for the description of what can be called “asymmetric social interactions” (Seibt) between humans and robots, and for the evaluation of user experiences of such interactions as social. We can also rely on works about humans (Goffman, 1963; Pacherie, 2008; Vesper, 2010, 2017). But there is so far no general theory of social interaction that roboticists could directly apply in order to design robotic social actions. 


This workshop aims to be a place for an interdisciplinary discussion on this subject: How far can robots go--now and in the future--to fulfill the requirements of full-blown social agents? How and where do ethical requirements dovetail with the elements (conditions, principles, and procedures) for social agency?



In the framework of Robo-philosophy 2020 Conference





Workshop date


2020 August 18 (16:00-19:00 Aarhus time)

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