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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.

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?

This event was held on Tuesday 11 June at the University of Sydney.

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.

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