Positive Computing

In this book, Rafael Calvo and Dorian Peters investigate what they term positive computing; the design and development of technology to support psychological well-being and human potential. Calvo and Peters explain that technologists growing interest in social good is part of a larger public concern about how our digital experience affects our emotions and our…

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,…

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…

Robot Sex

Sexbots are coming. Given the pace of technological advances, it is inevitable that realistic robots specifically designed for people's sexual gratification will be developed in the not-too-distant future. Despite popular culture's fascination with the topic, and the emergence of the much-publicized Campaign Against Sex Robots, there has been little academic research on the social, philosophical,…

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…

Why robot nannies probably won’t do much psychological damage

While the issue of robot child care is obviously of critical importance, an appraisal will not benefit either the field or society if it unrealistically exaggerates a threat, any more so than if it unrealistically trivialises danger. Thus while I largely concur with Sharkey and Sharkey (hereafter S&S) on many substantial and important points, I…

The Trouble with Algorithmic Decisions: An Analytic Road Map to Examine Efficiency and Fairness in Automated and Opaque Decision Making

We are currently witnessing a sharp rise in the use of algorithmic decision-making tools. In these instances, a new wave of policy concerns is set forth. This article strives to map out these issues, separating the wheat from the chaff. It aims to provide policy makers and scholars with a comprehensive framework for approaching these…

The ethics of algorithms: Mapping the debate

In information societies, operations, decisions and choices previously left to humans are increasingly delegated to algorithms, which may advise, if not decide, about how data should be interpreted and what actions should be taken as a result. More and more often, algorithms mediate social processes, business transactions, governmental decisions, and how we perceive, understand, and…

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!: HRI and the Automation of Police Use of Force

This paper considers the ethical challenges facing the development of robotic systems that deploy violent and lethal force against humans. While the use of violent and lethal force is not usually acceptable for humans or robots, police officers are authorized by the state to use violent and lethal force in certain circumstances in order to…

Blackwood Gallery | Care, Automated

The habit of attaching “care” to innately positive attributes obscures its entanglement with dominant systems of power and control. The ambivalence of care is crisply reflected in technological configurations of care/work. In this workshop, seven researchers share their inquiries into intersections of care and technology, in particular, automation. Questioning technological fixes to care crisis, Care,…

Social Robots: Human-Machine Configurations – Transformations Journal No. 29, 2017

Human-machine relationships are being transformed by robots increasingly performing social roles such as teachers, carers and companions. This arrival of social robots is challenging understandings of human-machine relationships and generating diverse aesthetic, ethical and political debates. Matters of interest include asymmetries in human-robot relationships, the co-constitution of humans and robots, the place of robot labour,…