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Why should the perfect robot look and think just like a human?

Rethinking human-machine relations
The popular notion that the perfect robot will be just like a human closes our eyes to the genuine possibilities and risks of AI and robotics.

Event details
Date and time:
Tuesday 11 June, 6 – 7.30pm
Venue: SSB Lecture Theatre 200
Social Sciences Building
The University of Sydney (Camperdown/Darlington campus)
Entry: free and open to all with online registrations essential.

Drawing on the latest research in engineering and social science, this event will explore the ways in which emerging technologies are similar to and different from the humans on which they are supposedly modelled: the thinker, the worker and the companion.

Could robots be programmed to make responsible moral and legal decisions? What are the possibilities and limitations of the robot voice and conversation? How will humans adapt to a world of increasingly 'intelligent' and autonomous machines?

The speakers

Minoru specialises in robotics, artificial intelligence and cognitive developmental robotics. He has been a Full Professor of Mechanical Engineering for Computer-Controlled Machinery with Osaka University since 1995 and was a Professor with the Department of Adaptive Machine Systems at the university from 1997 to 2018.

He was recently appointed as a strategic adviser for the Symbiotic Intelligent System Research Center Open and Transdisciplinary Research Initiatives, Osaka University and is currently a principal investigator for a Japan Science and Technology Agency project called 'Legal beings: Electronic personhoods of artificial intelligence and robots in NAJIMI society, based on a reconsideration of the concept of autonomy.'

Raya is a Reader at the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University in Wales, where she teaches psychology. Her latest research concerns social robotics in the context of social psychology. Earlier and ongoing work involves comparisons of Jungian, dialogical, narrative and social constructionist perspectives on the self. Her latest authored book is Personhood and Social Robotics (Routledge, 2016). Earlier books include Jung, Psychology, Postmodernity (Routledge, 2007), The Child–School Interface (Cassell, 1995), and several edited and co-edited volumes.

This event is held as part of the International Symposium Beyond Anthropomorphism – rethinking human-machine relations in robotics and A.I. (11-12 June), organised by the University of Sydney Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems SIRIS (previously the Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems), in collaboration with the Sociotechnical Futures Lab (STuF) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the University of Sydney Business School. More information about the symposium.

Event information

This event is free and open to all but online registration is essential.

Simply click the 'Register now' button or follow this link.

Entry to ticket holders will be prioritised and given on a first-in, best-dressed basis until the room reaches capacity. If an event is full, this may result in standing room or delayed admittance until an appropriate time.

We recommend early arrival to allow time for finding the venue and securing a seat to the event. Doors open 30 minutes before the advertised start time. 

If you could not register but would like to attend, you are welcome to join a stand-by queue on the night as seats may become available due to late cancellations. Please note, this is not guaranteed so you come at risk of non-admittance.

This venue provides wheelchair access, hearing loop and infrared hearing system.

Access requirements

If you have other access requirements or want more information, get in touch with us on 9351 2943 or email with 'Access | June 11 – Robots' in the subject line at the earliest opportunity to allow us time to organise for any additional services in time for the event.

This event takes place at SSB Lecture Theatre 200, which is on Level 2 of the Social Sciences Building (enter via Science Road). 

There will be directional signage on the day leading to the theatre. You may also refer to the map on this page. 

Public Transport

To help you plan your trip, visit


The venue is roughly 30 minutes walk from Redfern station. Catch a train to Redfern station and take Lawson Street up to Abercrombie Street. At the roundabout, follow Codrington Street up to Butlin Avenue. Follow Butlin Avenue through to the campus and up Eastern Avenue towards the Quadrangle and turn into Science Road. Keep walking along there – the venue will be on the right.


Buses to the University are readily available from Railway Square, Central Station (Broadway). Please use campus maps tool and tick the ‘State transit bus stops’ box under the ‘Amenities’ column to view all possible bus stops.

  • via Parramatta Road: Take one of these buses: 412, 436, 438, 439, 440, 461, 480, 483, m10, L38 or L39 and alight at the Footbridge on Parramatta Road. It's roughly 5 minute walk to venue.
  • via City Road: Take one of these buses: 352, 370, 422, 423, 426, 428, m30, L23 or L28 and alight at the footbridge before Butlin Avenue. Cross the road or go across the bridge and take Eastern Avenue towards the Quadrangle, and turn into Science Road. It's roughly a 12-minute walk to the venue.

There is some on-street parking around Forest Lodge and Glebe.

There is also paid parking available at Western Avenue Carpark. Head to the University's Parking page for more information about fees and opening hours.

Use the University Campus Maps tool to find out more details about parking and access areas: search for the 'Social Sciences Building'. 

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