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[Commlist] Two seminars: Human Community and Perpetual Contact // Should robots be our friends?
Sun Mar 17 06:33:51 GMT 2019
On behalf of my dear colleague Professor James Katz as well as other
ones involved from the Division of Emerging Media Studies within the
College of Communication at Boston University, EEUU, I am pleased to
remember the announcement and invite you to the SPRING 2019 SYMPOSIA:
**HUMAN COMMUNITY & PERPETUAL CONTACT*
Date: April 10, 2019
Location: Boston University Hillel Center, 213 Bay State Rd., Boston, MA
**SHOULD ROBOTS BE OUR FRIENDS?*
Date: April 11, 2019
Location: Boston University Photonics Center, 8 St. Mary’s St., Boston,
As a member of their Advisory Board (I feel grateful and honored to), I
really encourage you to assist and participate in these upcoming events
exploring the social implications of living, working, and learning with
ubiquitous technology. URL [http://sites.bu.edu/emsconf/] –
(anaserranotelleria /at/ gmail.com) <mailto:(anaserranotelleria /at/ gmail.com)>
Artificial intelligence is increasingly prevalent in our work, social,
and civic lives. From voice-enabled personal assistants such as Amazon’s
Alexa and Apple’s Siri to autonomous vehicles and robotic elder care, AI
permeates contemporary life; it is critical that researchers explore
what it means to be human in a world of AI. To that end, Boston
University presents two international symposium, inviting scholars,
policy-makers, and analysts to collaboratively investigate artificial
intelligence in relationship to society, specifically exploring issues
such as labor, ethics, emotions, and identity. These events are
particularly timely as 2019 marks twenty years since the mobile turn,
when we began the move away from the telephone toward a culture of
perpetual contact via portable electronic devices. Through the April
workshops, we aim to explore the future of technology and humanity, with
a lens toward our past. Learn more about April 10th: Human Community and
Perpetual Contact <http://sites.bu.edu/emsconf/#April10> and April 11:
Should Robots Be Our Friends? <http://sites.bu.edu/emsconf/#April11>
April 11th: Should Robots Be Our Friends? Ethical and social
scientific implications of the growing emotional engagement of
humans with AI agents and robots
Robots and other artificial intelligence (AI) entities have long tempted
people to treat them as if they were alive, human-like, or even had
souls (Katz, 2003). This topic is now front and center as people
increasingly welcome AI and robots into their lives as conversational
partners, servants, and companions. More, the concept of artificial
intelligence has served as a catalyst for artists, philosophers,
mathematicians, and psychologists to examine the defining
characteristics of consciousness and what it means to be human, such as
Hobbes (1651), Turing (1950), and Searle (1980).
Today, much of what was initially conceptualized as fiction has
materialized as a technological reality. As artificial technologies
become more increasingly prevalent in contemporary life, it is necessary
for researchers to examine the potential implications with regard to
ethics (Anderson & Anderson, 2012; Lin, Abney, & Bekey, 2014; Taddeo &
Floridi, 2018), identity and social relationships (Breazeal, 1999, 2003,
2004; Turkle, 1995) sex and love (Levy, 2007; Sullins, 2012), education
and development (Resnick, 1998; Kahn et al. 2012) and labor and economy
(Boyd & Holton, 2017; Crawford & Joler, 2018).
In order to more fully understand the complexities of AI and its social
consequences, the Division of Emerging Media Studies at Boston
University presents an international symposium, where scholars from a
variety of fields will discuss the promises and perils. An
interdisciplinary, cross-cutting approach will help to facilitate an
in-depth examination of the topic through paper presentations, panel
discussions, and a poster session. The symposium will encourage the
audience to participate actively with questions and debate. We will also
try to showcase some of the latest technology.
The goal of the event is for participants to not only develop an
enhanced understanding of the competing issues at play but also identify
actionable next steps within their fields of study. Finally, the social
psychological and ethical dimensions will be delineated in pursuit of a
greater understanding of the nettlesome issues that we as a society will
·Anderson, M. & Anderson, S. L. (Eds.). (2011). Machine ethics.
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
·Boyd, R., & Holton, R. J. (2017). Technology, innovation, employment
and power: Does robotics and artificial intelligence really mean social
transformation? Journal of Sociology, 54(3), 331-345.
·Breazeal, C. (2003). Emotion and sociable humanoid robots.
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 59(1-2), 119-155.
·Breazeal, C. L. (2004). Designing sociable robots. Cambridge, MA: The
·Breazeal, C. (1999). Robot in society: Friend or appliance. In
Proceedings of the 1999 Autonomous Agents Workshop on Emotion-Based
Agent Architectures (pp. 18-26).
·Crawford, K. & Joler, V. (2018 September 17). Anatomy of an AI system:
The Amazon Echo as an anatomical map of human labor, data and planetary
resources. AI Now Institute and Share Lab. Retrieved from:
·Hobbes, T. and Gaskin, J. (1998). Leviathan. Oxford, UK: Oxford
·Kahn Jr, P. H., Kanda, T., Ishiguro, H., Freier, N. G., Severson, R.
L., Gill, B. T., … & Shen, S. (2012). “Robovie, you’ll have to go into
the closet now”: Children’s social and moral relationships with a
humanoid robot. Developmental Psychology, 48(2), 303-314.
·Katz, James E. (Ed.), (2003). Machines that become us: The social
context of personal communication technology. Piscataway, NJ:
·Lin, P., Abney, K., & Bekey, G. A. (2014). Robot ethics: the ethical
and social implications of robotics. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
·Resnick, M. (1998). Technologies for lifelong kindergarten. Educational
Technology Research and Development, 46(4), 43-55.
·Searle, J. R. (1980). Minds, brains, and programs. Behavioral and Brain
·Sullins, J. P. (2012). Robots, love and sex: the ethics of building a
love machine. IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, 3(4), 398-409.
·Taddeo, M., & Floridi, L. (2018). How AI can be a force for good.
Science, 361(6404), 751-752.
·Turing, A. (1950). Computing machinery and intelligence. Mind,
·Turkle, S. (1995). Life on the screen. Identity in the age of the
internet. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
April 10th: Human Community and Perpetual Contact in an Era of
This Invitational Expert Panel on April 10th investigates the future of
perpetual contact from a humanities, philosophical and social scientific
perspective. Questions include: How does the increased prevalence of
algorithmically-informed communication technologies influence us as
humans? How do we share and receive information in the smart home? What
are the implications for social and domestic relationships? What role
should philosophy and other humanistic disciplines play in understanding
these phenomena? Expert scholars will contribute to a lively discussion,
interrogating implications of our current algorithmic culture. Please
contact Sarah Krongard (atkrongard /at/ bu.edu) <mailto:(krongard /at/ bu.edu)>with
any questions or for further information.
International Scientific Advisory Board*
·Arruda Filho, Emilio (University of Amazon)
·Betke, Margrit (Boston University)
·Bucy, Erik (Texas Tech University)
·de Souza e Silva, Adriana (North Carolina State University)
·Floyd, Juliet (Boston University)
·Liu, Yu-li (National Chengchi University)
·Neff, Gina (Oxford University)
·Redman, Philip (Accenture)
·Serrano Tellería, Ana (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha)
·Soysal, Zeynep (University of Rochester)
·Takahashi, Toshie (Waseda University, Tokyo)
·Tian, Li (Peking University)
·Wild, Claude (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe)
·Xie, Xinzhou (Peking University)
/*Institutional affiliation presented for identification purposes only
and does not imply endorsement/
Sponsored by: The Feld Family Professorship of Boston University’s
College of Communication
·Division of Emerging Media Studies, Boston University
·The Consulate General of France in Boston
·Artificial Intelligence Research (AIR) of Boston University
·The Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar
We gratefully acknowledge our sponsors.
Contact Sarah Krongard (atkrongard /at/ bu.edu) <mailto:(krongard /at/ bu.edu)>with
The Division of Emerging Media Studies within the College of
Communication at Boston University brings together voices of scholars,
researchers, practitioners, and policymakers through interdisciplinary
symposia. Through lectures, conferences, and workshops, EMS aims to
stimulate thought-provoking discussion and debate on issues related to
technology and society. By drawing on empirically informed insights in
the realm of communication and social media, problems confronting our
society can be more effectively addressed. These technologies offer
increased freedom and opportunities but also pose an unprecedented
threat to human liberty and autonomy, so a well-informed public is more
vital than ever.
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