Call: Workshop on Anthrobotics: New Perspectives on Social Automata and Techno-social Cognitive Systems

Interdisciplinary Call for Papers
New Perspectives on Social Automata and Techno-social Cognitive Systems
Workshop 21 March 2017 at The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh’s Anthrobotics Cluster, The Creation of Reality Group (CRAG), EIDYN, the Oxford Human Centred Computing Group, The Edinburgh School of Informatics, Science Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS), the Social Informatics Cluster, the Durham Centre for Humanities Innovation, and the Institut Français UK invite you to the first international interdisciplinary workshop on Anthrobotics.

According to roboticist Rodney Brooks, the distinction between us and robots is going to disappear in the next decades (Robot: The Future of Flesh and Machine, 2002). If so, are we theoretically and socially prepared for such a union? How does the ongoing development and deployment of intelligent systems and social robots induce radical changes in our lives and societies? The Anthrobotics Cluster at the University of Edinburgh was created in 2016 to reflect on the becoming of techno-human autonomous systems from an interdisciplinary perspective (humanities, social sciences, informatics, robotics, genetics, engineering, law, medicine, etc.). We wish to explore all aspects of the dynamic intertwining of humans and machines. Could it be for example that the anthrobotic unity is in fact older than we think, as suggested by Lewis Mumford in The Myth of the Machine (1967)? Could engineers design robotic systems while being more conscious of the presupposed values of their protocols? Can we learn from social cognition to construct more nuanced and fair artificial cognitive systems?

Our workshop will coincide with the 2017 European Robotics Forum in Edinburgh ( We invite paper submissions from all fields of research in order to help us delineate and specify the notion of anthrobot. We welcome interdisciplinary themes such as social automata, human-machine partnership; cultural, ethical, political or legal design of and response to robots; social robotics; bonding with machines; genetic engineering; cybernetic organisms and hive minds; labour, technology, regulation and cognitive systems, etc. Papers (or advanced drafts) between 3500 and 8000 words should be submitted no later than 25 January 2017. Abstracts (300 words) should be sent in before 30 October 2016. All papers will be circulated five weeks before the workshop. Instead of reading the paper afresh on workshop day, each participant will have 20 to 30 minutes to respond to comments and questions from other participants. Edinburgh University Press is interested in considering the papers as part of a publication. For more information and submissions, please contact the principal organiser, Luis de Miranda:

More info here

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