Guy Hoffman: Transience, Replication, and the Paradox of Social Robotics

As we continue to develop social robots designed for connectedness, we struggle with paradoxes related to authenticity, transience, and replication. In this talk, Cornell University robotics researcher Guy Hoffman links his fifteen years of experience designing social robots with hundred-year-old texts on transience, replication, and the fear of dying. Can there be meaningful relationships with robots who do not suffer natural decay? What would our families look like if we all chose to buy identical robotic family members? Could handcrafted robotics offer a relief from the mass replication of the robot’s physical body and thus also from the mass customization of social experiences?

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Presented by the Berkeley Center for New Media.