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Workshop: Making Friends - Ontological and Ethical Aspects of Personal Robots

“Friends by Design”—Formal Models of Human-Robot Interaction—1st Workshop

2016.08.29 | Johanna Seibt

Date Fri 17 Jun Sat 18 Jun
Time 13:23    13:23
Location Aarhus University, Nobelparken. June 17: Building 1465, room 226. June 18: Building 1467, room 616

Phone number Johanna: +45 2622 8556                              

Personal robots are envisaged as a subclass of sociable robots--their interactive capacities are to be tuned to the particular limitations and preferences of individual human beings.  From a philosophical point of view, personal robots raise ontological and ethical questions that are interestingly different from those posed by sociable robots used in context of public social interactions.  In public social interaction it is our common practice to  functionalize an interaction partner; arguably, the interaction of humans with robotic functional equivalents of social agents does not seem to amount to a fundamental assault on our concepts of social interactions (provided one also accepts a purely functionalist account of the capacities of social agents to follow rules).  However, our personal interactions do not seem to admit of such functionalization--they are always directed at this or that human individual and take the individual differences into account.  In consequence,  our notions of personal interactions  are governed by different conditions of realizability and felicity (success).  Moreover, since personal interactions rather than social interactions contribute to our well-being and constitute our felt personal identity, the simulation of affordances for personal interactions appears particularly problematic from an ethical point of view.

The workshop has three aims:

  • to investigate the differences between concepts of social interactions versus personal interactions, with a view to the formal modelling of these differences.
  • to investigate the ethical implications of the idea of personal robots, both from the point of view of the 'user' and from the point of view of the designer.
  • to make friends (research partners) within the MOHRI group, and determine work strategies for the coming months.


Monday June 17

12:00-13:00 Arrival and lunch
13:00-13:15 Very short introductions
13:15-13:45 Johanna Seibt: “How to make friends—personal robots and categories of friendship”
13:45-14:30 Marco Nørskov: “Beyond the dialectics of mutual recognition: against the 'robot slavery-human degradation' argument”
15:00-15:50 Carola Eschenbach and Felix Lindner: “Shared social space” 
15:50-16:50 Rocio Chongtay: “Smartphone based robots. How should we prepare for the potential booming of this type of personal robots?” 
17:00-18:30 Long introductions, with emphasis on the members of the MOHRI group: presentations of research perspectives and ideas for joint projects

Tuesday June 18:

9:30-10:30 Martin Mose Bentzen: “Can we make a deontic logic for robot-human interaction based on an ontology (or algebra) of action types?” 
10:30-11:20 Stefan Larsen:  “Authenticity versus allurement: phenomenology and ethics of the robot design”
11:20-12:15 Gunhild Borggreen:  “The ROCA project: Cultural and aesthetic aspects of human-robot interaction
12:15-13:15 Lunch
13:15-14:15 Concluding discussion, planning of MOHRI activities. 


Klaus Robering, SDU Kolding: Logic, Philosophy
Rocio Changtay, SDU Kolding: Computer Science
Anne Gerdes, SDU Kolding: Design and Communication
Carola Eschenbach: University of Hamburg, Computer Science
Felix Lindner: University of Hamburg, Computer Science
Christian Kaernbach: University of Kiel, Psychology
Oliver Niebuhr: University of Kiel, Linguistics
Gunhild Borggreen: University of Copenhagen, Aesthetics
Marco Nørskov: AU (PENSOR), Philosophy (Intercultural Phil of Robotics)
Stefan Larsen: AU (PENSOR), Philosophy (of Robotics)
JC Bjerring: AU (PENSOR), Philosophy (Epistemology)
Martin Mose Bentzen: Roskilde University (PENSOR), Logic, Ontology, Ethics
Glenda Hannibal: AU (PENSOR), Philosophy (of Robotics)
Johanna Seibt: AU (PENSOR), Philosophy (Ontology)