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What makes a robot ‘social’?

Jones, Raya A. ORCID: 2017. What makes a robot ‘social’? Social Studies of Science 47 (4) , pp. 556-579. 10.1177/0306312717704722

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Rhetorical moves that construct humanoid robots as social agents disclose tensions at the intersection of science and technology studies (STS) and social robotics. The discourse of robotics often constructs robots that are like us (and therefore unlike dumb artefacts). In the discourse of STS, descriptions of how people assimilate robots into their activities are presented directly or indirectly against the backdrop of Latour's actor-network theory, which prompts attributing agency to mundane artefacts. In contradistinction to both social robotics and STS, it is suggested here to view a capacity to partake in dialogical action (to have a 'voice') as necessary for regarding an artificial as authentically social. The theme is explored partly through a critical reinterpretation of an episode that Morana Alač reported and analysed towards demonstrating her bodies-in-interaction concept. This paper turns to 'body' with particular reference to Gibsonian affordances theory so as to identify the level of analysis at which dialogicality enters social interactions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0306-3127
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 February 2017
Date of Acceptance: 13 February 2017
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2023 05:24

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