This category collects texts that discuss the nature of knowledge, reality, and existence of robots. It maps different concepts and frameworks that emerge with robots and robotics.

autonomous weapons   learning machines   privacy   killer robots   predictions   performativity   cultural challenges   man-machine systems   enslavement   robotics   future   civic robotics   philosophy of mind   ethics   robot ethics   cognitive psychology   technology   human facilities   legal issues   techno-animism   drones   psychology   science and technology studies   science and technology   technology acceptance   Japan   digital afterlife   model based reasoning   affect   simulation and modeling   posthumanism   media   autonomous agents   speculation   embodiment   noopolitics   aesthetics   ethics of violence   spiritual beliefs   military robots   emotion   social aspects of automation   cybernetics   Germany   decision making   autonomy   artificial intelligence   simulation   elder care   machine ethics   media theory   experience   biopolitics   life quality   trust   matter   values   assistive technology   conflict   sex   history   social robots   human-robot interaction   drone warfare   governance   robot ecosystem   Shinto   models   collective decision making   love   value-sensitive design   robots   autonomous robot warfare   death   morality   war   philosophy   cultural politics   epistemology   Social robotics   philosophy of science   control

Embedding Ethical Principles in Collective Decision Support Systems

The future will see autonomous machines acting in the same environment as humans, in areas as diverse as driving, assistive technology, and health care. Think of self-driving cars, companion robots, and medical diagnosis support systems. We also believe that humans and machines will often need to work together and agree on common decisions. Thus hybrid…

Techno-animism in Japan: Shinto Cosmograms, Actor-network Theory, and the Enabling Powers of Non-human Agencies

In a wide range of contemporary debates on Japanese cultures of technological practice, brief reference is often made to distinct Shinto legacies, as forming an animist substratum of indigenous spiritual beliefs and cosmological imaginations. Japan has been described as a land of Shinto-infused ‘techno-animism’: exhibiting a ‘polymorphous perversity’ that resolutely ignores boundaries between human, animal,…

Virtually Human

Every day, social media is automatically uploading our thoughts, memories, preferences, beliefs, and history to a virtual existence, essentially creating a mindfile of ourselves. Thousands of software engineers across the globe are working on mindware to create from these mindfile personalities and humanlike consciousness in computer software, or cyberconsciousness. In the next decade or two,…

A space of one’s own: Autonomy, privacy, liberty

The value of a negatively defined private space is defended as important for the development of personal autonomy. It is argued that negative liberty is problematic when split off from its connection with this ideal. An ethical interpretation of personal autonomy is proposed according to which a private space is one of autonomy’s preconditions. This…

Love and Sex with Robots

David Levy argues that the entities we once deemed cold and mechanical will soon become the objects of real companionship and human desire. He shows how automata have evolved and how human interactions with technology have changed over the years. Levy explores many aspects of human relationships—the reasons we fall in love, why we form…

The robot in the kitchen: The cultural politics of care-work and the development of in-home assistive technology

This paper considers two trends at opposite ends of the new economy: low-paid in-home care work, and the development of high-tech “social” robots. At present, the work of caring for the elderly, disabled, and convalescents is done primarily by women (disproportionately women of color) in the space of the home (Pratt, 1999). Meanwhile, in robotics…

Robot Futures

With robots, we are inventing a new species that is part material and part digital. The ambition of modern robotics goes beyond copying humans, beyond the effort to make walking, talking androids that are indistinguishable from people. Future robots will have superhuman abilities in both the physical and digital realms. They will be embedded in…

Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry

Blending social analysis and philosophy, Albert Borgmann maintains that technology creates a controlling pattern in our lives. This pattern, discernible even in such an inconspicuous action as switching on a stereo, has global effects: it sharply divides life into labor and leisure, it sustains the industrial democracies, and it fosters the view that the earth…

Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter

The semiotic turn, the interpretative turn, the cultural turn: it seems that at every turn lately every thing—even materiality—is turned into a matter of language or some other form of cultural representation. The ubiquitous puns on matter do not, alas, mark a rethinking of the key concepts (materiality and signification) and the relationship between them.…

From a Biopolitical ‘Will to Life’ to a Noopolitical Ethos of Death in the Aesthetics of Digital Code

In a range of digital creative productions and digital culture, questions of how to deal with finitude are on the rise. On the one hand, sectors of the digital entertainment industry – specifically computer games developers – are concerned with the question of how to manage death digitally. On the other hand, death and suicide…