Naoko Abe (University of Sydney, Australia)

Generating anthropomorphic motion and sociological perspective

ABSTRACT: Generating human-like motion for robots is one of the main aims of roboticist. For both personal assistive robot or industrial robot, the question of how the robot moves is essential in terms of its usefulness and safety when people interact with it. Motion is one of the key factors to make human-robot interaction successful because motion has certain meaning and is a communication mode. From sociological perspective, both motion (the way of moving) and its meaning (e.g. violent motion) are a social construction. The way of moving is socially constructed and related to shared values within a society or culture. This paper explores a theoretical framework to understand robot’s collaborative motion. From sociological perspective, the assessment of a robot’s ‘collaborative’ or ‘non-collaborative’ is possibly only by considering its social context and analysing the process of interaction between robot and people. This assessment could be also related to people’s representation of the robot. Moreover, the paper interrogates an evolution of human motion through technology. While roboticists aim to generate anthropomorphic motion for robots, we human beings, are we adapting robotic motion?

BIO: Naoko Abe is a sociologist, specialising in social interaction and human movement, with a research focus in Robotics and Urbanism. She obtained a PhD in Sociology from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris in 2012. Her PhD research was carried out in collaboration with RATP (Parisian Public Transportation Authority) from 2008 to 2012. In 2011, she obtained a teaching certificate of Kinetography Laban from Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP). In 2015, Naoko Abe was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems – French National Centre for Scientific Research (LAAS-CNRS) in Toulouse. In 2016-2017, she was a Renault-Junior International Research Fellow at the Centre for French-Japanese Advanced Studies of Paris (CEAFJP) coordinated by the EHESS France-Japan Foundation (FFJ). She participated in the research funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) as a research associate from November 2017 to June 2018. Naoko Abe joined the University of Sydney in July 2018.


Massimiliano Cappuccio (University of New South Wales, Australia)

Anthropomorphism in hybrid taskforces: social cognition and artificial autonomous agents

ABSTRACT: The cognitive-behavioral and motivational aspects of human-robot interaction in the workplace have yet to be systematically investigated. To lay the theoretical and methodological foundation of such an investigation, we discuss how the spontaneous tendency to anthropomorphize machines can affect the operations of hybrid taskforces composed by humans and artificial autonomous agents. Most views on anthropomorphism model this pervasive phenomenon either as a failure of rational judgement or a metaphorical form of imaginative representation. Against both views, we will argue that anthropomorphism involves pre-reflective behavioral responses that originate at the fundamental level of perceptual and emotional intelligence. As anthropomorphism represents one of the basic elements of social cognition, the psychological impact of anthropomorphism in human-agent interaction is neither easily avoidable nor necessarily detrimental or risky. Differentiating between the cognitive mechanisms that underpin implicit and explicit forms of anthropomorphism allows us to better understand the potential benefits of anthropomorphism in human-agent interaction. Recent developments in social robotics (e.g., social drones and interaction between humans and self-driving vehicles) suggest that natural communication within hybrid taskforces involve fundamental social cognitive processes that deeply rely on implicit anthropomorphic dispositions. Better understanding how these dispositions operate, we can update both the design of autonomous artificial agents and the training of human workers, allowing them to establish more effective informal communication and augmenting their potential for natural coordination.

BIO: Dr. Massimiliano Cappuccio is a Research Associate at University of New South Wales Canberra, where he serves as Deputy Lead of the Values in Defence & Security Technology group. He is also affiliated with the AI & Robotics Lab of UAE University, in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. His background is in cognitive philosophy and philosophical psychology. His current research is interdisciplinary and focuses on AI ethics, human-robot interaction, and philosophy of technology. He is the organizer of the annual Joint UAE Symposium on Social Robotics and is the editor of the MIT Press Handbook of Embodied Cognition and Sport Psychology.


Chris Chesher & Fiona Andreallo (University of Sydney, Australia)

Eye, vision and gaze in science fiction and social Robotics

ABSTRACT: The eye is a problem for anthropomorphic robotics in three different ways. First, the eye itself will serve as the centre of attention for all its users. The human eye is a fragile, moist, expressive and sublime entity that signifies individual identity and life itself. The robotic eye must contend with this precedent. Second, visual sensors will serve as the equivalent of human sight. Human sight has been a mystery from ancient times that contemporary science still leaves unanswered, as vision itself becomes inseparable from the brain. Engineers choosing visual sensors have many choices (video, lidar, radar, infrared, etc), and processing algorithms, none of which bear much comparison with human sight. Third, the eye is associated with the psychological and cultural phenomenon of the gaze. The gaze is that sense of shame that you feel when you are being watched, and a force in social relations. We don’t yet know what forms of gaze might be given off or perceived by a robot. This paper looks to science, cultural theory, science fiction and contemporary robotic technologies to interrogate the eye, vision and gaze.

BIO: Chris Chesher is Senior Lecturer in Digital Cultures in the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney. His research interests address digital media technologies in their cultural and historical contexts from the perspective of transdisciplinary media studies and cultural studies. He has published on mining robotics as media technologies, the robotic moment with Furby memes on YouTube, social robots and Bateson’s metacommunication and Mindstorms robots through Simondon’s mechanology. His current research interests include social and cultural robotics, smart home/smart city and the theory of computers as invocational media.

BIO: Fiona Andreallo is a Lecturer in Digital Cultures in the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney, Australia. Fiona researches everyday visual communication practices with technology. Her transdisciplinary research focuses  the visual beyond sight to include multi sensory experiences and a socio-cultural politics of visibility. The performance of gender and ideas of agency are central themes throughout her research, with a focus on the everyday that includes popular cultures. She has published on cultural visual practices including selfies and digital memes, as well as social media self representation.


Simon Coghlan, Lucy Sparrow, Martin Gibbs and Jenny Waycott (University of Melbourne, Australia)

The human touch: Ethical dimensions of care robots made “in our image”

ABSTRACT: Care robots help people in need, such as older adults with physical and mental frailties. Technology will allow robots to be increasingly anthropomorphic and to be treated and experienced in far more humanlike ways. The prospect of care robots made increasingly “in the human image” arguably creates a “care robot dilemma.” On the one hand, serious ethical and social concerns may be raised about very humanlike care robots, including (but not limited to) deception about the presence of consciousness, an inability to truly replicate human care, and overattachment to/social overreliance on these robots (Sparrow & Sparrow, 2006).

On the other hand, highly anthropomorphized care robots may be necessary for better quality robot care. Arguably, care of the kind people want and need simply cannot occur without the presence of certain human qualities. Given the looming shortage of human carers for (especially) older adults and the concern over “cold” care (Stahl & Coeckelbergh, 2016, p. 153), a reason exists for creating care robots in the human image.

A care robot may be made in our image through physical resemblance and/or various forms of behavioural resemblance. At one end of the behavioural anthropomorphism scale, a robot might simply perform assistance tasks with little social interaction. At the other end, a care robot might provide highly social interactions that generate a strong sense of warm companionship.

Care robots of any kind have the possible advantage over human carers of being reliable and non-temperamental. But one ingredient arguably essential to good quality care is what we might call “the human touch”. The human touch includes e.g. warmth and small acts of kindness—in care robots, this may be facilitated by emotion detection, facial recognition, empathic prompts, touch sensors, and even expressions of emotion and affection that aim to make the recipient feel cared for (Stahl, McBride, Wakunuma, & Flick, 2014; Sharkey & Sharkey, 2011).

This presentation explores the ethical dimensions of what it might mean for care robots to have a human touch, examining whether that quality would be a good or a bad thing. This exploration occurs in the context of the care robot dilemma outlined above – that is, the dilemma of creating care robots that arguably need to have profoundly humanlike characteristics to provide high quality care, but whose strongly anthropomorphic design could generate serious social and ethical concerns.

Taking a care recipient-focused approach, we explore key questions, including: Which anthropomorphic design features are more likely to optimise the benefits of robotic care and minimise the risks, particularly in older adults? Is there a limit to how humanlike these robots should be? And how can we better open up a “democratic space” (Vandemeulebroucke, Dierckx de Casterlé, & Gastmans, 2018) for care recipients to offer their opinions on how urgent the threats of (e.g.) consciousness misattribution and overreliance on care robots really are? We explore how “the human touch” may be an important ingredient in effective robotic care, making room for further debate regarding the role of anthropomorphism in robotic design and interaction. 


Sharkey, A., & Sharkey, N. (2011). Children, the elderly, and interactive robots. IEEE Robotics Automation Magazine, 18(1), 32–38.

Sparrow, R., & Sparrow, L. (2006). In the hands of machines? The future of aged care. Minds and Machines,16(2), 141–161.

Stahl, B. C., & Coeckelbergh, M. (2016). Ethics of healthcare robotics: Towards responsible research and innovation. Robotics and Autonomous Systems86, 152–161.

Stahl, B. C., McBride, N., Wakunuma, K., & Flick, C. (2014). The empathic care robot: A prototype of responsible research and innovation. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 84, 74–85.

Vandemeulebroucke, T., Dierckx de Casterlé, B., & Gastmans, C. (2018). The use of care robots in aged care: A systematic review of argument-based ethics literature. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 74, 15–25.

BIO: Simon Coghlan PhD, BVSc, is a moral philosopher and bioethicist. He is a part-time Research Fellow at University of Melbourne, where he is researching the ethics of robotic companions, as well as AI in medicine. Simon also teaches medical ethics at the University of Adelaide. He began his working life as a veterinarian in companion animal practice – work which he occasionally dips back into.


Ed Santow (Australian Human Rights Commission, Australia)

Of AI, horses and jockeys: Re-negotiating our relationship with machines in the era of AI

BIO: Edward Santow has been Human Rights Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission since August 2016. Ed leads the Commission’s work on detention and implementing the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT); refugees and migration; human rights issues affecting LGBTI people; counter-terrorism and national security; technology and human rights; freedom of expression; and freedom of religion. Ed’s areas of expertise include human rights, public law and discrimination law. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and serves on a number of boards and committees. In 2009, Ed was presented with an Australian Leadership Award, and in 2017, he was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. From 2010-2016, Ed was chief executive of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a leading non-profit organisation that promotes human rights through strategic litigation, policy development and education. Ed was previously a Senior Lecturer at UNSW Law School, a research director at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law and a solicitor in private practice.


Mike Seymour (University of Sydney, Australia)

The Arms Race of Faces: AI, Agency and Identity

ABSTRACT: Digital technology is changing how we collaborate and compete—and engage in battles over violations of social norms. New technology, especially Deep Learning is driving a wave of new image synthesis that allows digital versions of people to be imagined, hallucinated, controlled and deployed.  “Fake news” is in the news; creating false photographs and film is a century old practice that is now on digital steroids creating an “arms race” with an uncertain outcome. Digital video tools provide opportunities for marketers, politicians and influencers to breach user defenses and enable constructive collaboration tools to be used in unexpected ways with consequences their developers did not imagine. But unlike earlier arms races, in this race with generative adversarial networks, or GANs,  the very tools of deception feed directly on the success of those defences built to detect them. Researchers and technology developers must quickly make this a major focus, which comes at a cost.

BIO: Mike Seymour has a B Sc. focused on CGI and Pure Maths from the University of Sydney where he also did his Masters (MBA) and he is currently doing his PhD. His research is into using interactive realtime photoreal faces in new forms of Human Computer Interfaces (CHI). Mike has worked for many years in the visual effects area of the entertainment industry, in R&D and in film production, winning an AFI and being nominated for a Prime time Emmy in the USA. He has worked as a compositor, vfx supervisor and second unit director on various TV shows here and in the UK. He is also well known for his work as a writer, consultant and educator with the web sites fxguide.comand These sites provide an important link between the film and vfx community and the research community who constantly push the limits of technology.  Mike has lectured and presented at NAB, ACM SIGGRAPH, CVMP and SMPTE. He regularly can be heard on the company’s own podcasts, as well as having contributed to Warner Bros., Paramount,  News Corp, the BBC (radio) and WIRED Magazine (- over 70 times). Mike is based in Sydney, but has previously worked in Hollywood and London. Mike does research into the use of photo real, realtime, computer generated faces for new forms of effective communication and education, and the issues that need to be resolved for adoption and acceptance.


Yuji Sone (Macquarie University, Australia)

Hiroshi Ishiguro’s android science: The fabulationof “upstream engagement” and entertainment

ABSTRACTS: This paper examines Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro’s ‘science communication’, that is, public relations communications of science for non-experts. I discuss this communication as ‘upstream engagement’, a phrase that refers to the idea of dialogue between scientists and the public to introduce future technologies before actual research and development are established.

Ishiguro is internationally acclaimed for his creation of anthropomorphic robotic machines, humanoids and androids. Ishiguro communicates his vision with the public through popular media and the arts, deploying his anthropomorphic robots in popular entertainment contexts such as film, television, theatre, and in science museum exhibitions. Apart from a prolific output of academic publications in both English and Japanese, Ishiguro has published more than ten popular science books in Japanese, and he has just published his first collection of short science-fiction novels, in which his characters are based on his robots. In these varied creative outputs, Ishiguro is portrayed as unique and unusual, a scientist who successfully ventures into art. While his humanoids and androids are intended as models for future human-like robots that are framed as participating in future work and domestic contexts in Japan, Ishiguro also regards them as experimentaltools for investigations into questions of human identity, the ‘soul’, and sociality. Beyond the engineering challenges of developing his robots, Ishiguro is not afraid to ask philosophical questions, such as ‘What is the human?’ Ishiguro has even had facial plastic surgery to match the appearance of his robot double,named Geminoid HI-1. The juxtaposed image of Ishiguro in his trademark black clothing with his robot double is often used in journalistic articles on Ishiguro’s work.

Though Ishiguro’s androids have almost always been included in mainstream Western journalism’s coverage of the development of next-generation robots in Japan, Ishiguro’s robots are often described as ‘freaky’ and ‘creepy’. This wariness regarding Ishiguro and his android research becomes, paradoxically, a source of Orientalist fascination for Western journalists and commentators. In turn, his popularity in the West adds value to his research in Japan. His fame in Japan and in the West grants Ishiguro the latitude to explore extreme ideas, such as the possibility of ‘brain transposition to android’, through the arts and literature, such as science fiction writing. As I will discuss, Ishiguro’s android science straddles the borders between science, popular arts, and public relations, suggesting that anthropomorphic machines can have performative agency, stimulating questions of probability, possibility, and ‘what if’: the very heart of ‘upstream engagement’, a modality of plausibility rather than actuality that mixes the fictive with the scientific imaginary.

This paper argues that the combination of Ishiguro’s enigmatic public persona and his ‘upstream’ science communications through popular media outlets combine to create Ishiguro as a science celebrity: a role not separate from his persona as a scientist, but dependent upon it. This indeterminate role is itself a kind of entertainment, an effect that is especially pronounced for a Western audience. Ishiguro’s android science then becomes a unique form of storytelling or fabulation, as Deleuze puts it, particularly in its ‘upstream engagement’ forms.

BIO: Dr Yuji Sone is a senior lecturer and teaches theatre and performance studies courses in the Department of Media, Music, Communication, and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University in Australia. His research has focused on the cross-disciplinary conditions of technologized performance. He is the author of Japanese Robot Culture: Performance, Imagination, and Modernity (2017). 


Yolande Strengers (Monash University, Australia) & Jenny Kennedy (RMIT University, Australia)

Turn me on, turn me off

ABSTRACT: Automating or controlling devices from a smart phone or tablet is part of the tech industry’s vision for a smart home that will take care of itself and the occupants, all with minimal fuss and objection. The connection between this vision and the long-celebrated stereotypical 1950s housewife seems obvious, and has already been noted by other techno-feminist and robotics scholars including Sarah Kember, Jennifer Robertson and Jennifer Rhee. However, interrogating smart appliances and domestic robots as intended wife replacements has yet to receive significant attention. Meanwhile, the home remains a feminised territory, characterised by an ongoing struggle to encourage men to take on their fair share of domestic labours.

This symposium offers an opportunity to interrogate and expose the gendered ideologies that underpin emerging home technologies that we might consider ‘advanced’. These include smart home devices, digital home voice assistants, social robots, sex robots, and other feminized AI intended to help out around the home. This technology closely resembles a 1950s housewife – compliant, amiable and subservient to the needs of her husband and family, and ready to provide a range of wifely services including housekeeping, homemaking, caring and sex.

More specifically, this paper considers the wifely and domestic roles imagined for sex robots, from dishwasher-safe parts to interchangeable personalities. What do these sexual devices tell us about the role of robotics in the home? What ideas and visions do they draw on about sexuality and gender? And what might their possible effects be for gendered issues and concerns such as equality, sexualised abuse, and violence towards women?

We argue that the sex robot industry plays to gendered stereotypes and advocates problematic understandings of consent that resemble the historical positioning of wives who were there to meet their husband’s sexual needs and desires. Simultaneously, sex robots promise to transform the home into a place in which domestic activities – including having sex – are performed with skill and prowess. Ideas like control, efficiency and optimisation are applied here to sexual labours in ways that may undermine other values and forms of care associated with lovemaking.

We draw on examples of feminised and sexualised technology already available on the market to explore this controversial field. These include the Harmony sexbot with 42 nipple options, and Roxxxy, another sexbot with customisable personalities such as ‘Frigid Farah’ and ‘Wild Wendy’.

BIO: Yolande Strengers is a digital sociologist and scholar of emerging technologies in and for the home. She holds the position of Associate Professor of Digital Technology and Society in the Emerging Technologies Research Lab within the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University. Yolande’s research is interested in the sustainability and gendered effects of smart technologies in people’s everyday lives. 

BIO: Jenny Kennedy is a postdoctoral research fellow in the school of media and communication at RMIT, and a core member of the Technology, Communication and Policy Lab in DERC. Her research interests focus on media practices in everyday life, social discourses around technology use and material culture especially in domestic contexts. Her current projects explore the lived experience of digital exclusion, and the gendering of AI and automation in home environments. 


Jason Tuckwell (Western Sydney University, Australia)

Techné, agency and computation

ABSTRACT: In Aristotle’s characterisation of techné, the craftsperson operates as a paradigm for the appearance of agency in phusis, posing something of an irreducible problematic. Insofar as this ancient account remains restricted to the productive activities of human beings, findings in the contemporary biological sciences have uncovered evidence of technē like behaviour in the intelligible activities of all living beings. Where technē is the capacity for agents to deviate the flow of natural causation, a path is opened to re-conceive the artificial/natural dialectic as primitive, so that a series of reciprocal counter-causes can be understood to broadly operate upon primary, generative processes. This is to argue that if Aristotelian technē is reduced to its minimal structure it might provide a generic method for apprehending agency, establishing a primordial precedence for art and technics that long predates homo faber.

This paper examines how the elaboration of the mathematical function, especially in the context of computational logic, overturns the dominant analogical function technologies serve in modelling natural processes. What is new (or perhaps older) about digital and computational technologies, is that they arguably return to the central insight that technologies are not first of all tools or machines; they are, rather, those agents that cause deviations in nature. This is the revelation that defines the terms of modern computation and calculation: that is, the central problem of computation posed by Turing (1937) explicitly evokes Aristotle’s primary insight, because the paradigm for computation is a technite: a human computer. What Turing shows is that the logic of calculation entails the axiomatisation of an active agency, with consequences for how technical metaphors inform mechanistic models of nature. As such, to insist on the artificiality of the technical might affirm agency as a primordial emergence, irreducible to nature.

BIO: Jason Tuckwell teaches aesthetics and literary theory at Western Sydney University. His research interests include Aristotle, Simondon and Continental Philosophy with a particular focus upon problems of creative and technical praxes. His recent book, Creation and the Function of Art: Techné, Poiesis and the Problem of Aesthetics is available from Bloomsbury Studies in Continental Philosophy.


Mari Velonaki (University of New South Wales, Australia)

Re-examining anthropomorphism as a necessity to create an aesthetic framework for robots capable of social interaction and intervention

ABSTRACT: As the field of Social Robotics rapidly grows there is a need to reconsider robot aesthetics, behaviour, learning and adaptability to varying social contexts in order to improve fluency, effectiveness and human interest during long term interaction with a robot. There is also a pressing need for a more informed multi-disciplinary approach in the design, development and evaluation of these systems.

Velonaki’s presentation will focus on  design approaches for developing robots for a specific social context. She will discuss the appearance vs behaviour analogy and how it affects perception and interaction with social robots She will also focus on experiential human robot  interaction as a key driver for the development and deployment of social robots. In order to be effective in social contexts, robots ultimately need to be designed for specific social settings in order to be successfully intergraded in a fluid and non-intrusive manner.

BIO: Mari Velonaki’s research is situated in the multi-disciplinary field of Social Robotics. Her approach to Social Robotics’ research has been informed by aesthetics and design principles that stem from the theory and practice of Interactive Media Art. Velonaki has made significant contributions in the areas of Social Robotics, Media Art and Human-Machine Interface Design. Her career outputs across these fields are extensive. Velonaki began working as a media artist/researcher in the field of responsive environments and interactive interface design in 1997. She pioneered experimental interfaces that incorporate movement, speech, touch, breath, electrostatic charge, artificial vision and robotics, allowing for the development of haptic and immersive relationships between participants and interactive agents. She is the recipient of several competitive grants, including ARC Discovery, Linkage, LIEF an ARC Fellowship, an Australia Council of the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship, Australia-Japan Foundation, Fuji Xerox Innovation, AOARD.

Velonaki is a Professor of Social Robotics at Art & Design, UNSW. She is the founder and director of the Creative Robotics Lab (Art & Design UNSW) and the founder and director of the National Facility for Human Robot Interaction Research (UNSW, USYD, UTS, St Vincent’s Hospital).She also holds adjunct positions at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics, The University of Sydney and at Waseda University, Japan. Mari’s robots and interactive installations have been exhibited worldwide, including: Victoria & Albert Museum, London; National Art Museum Beijing; Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Korea; Aros Aarhus Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh; Millennium Museum – Beijing Biennale of Electronic Arts; Ars Electronica, Linz; European Media Arts Festival, Osnabruck; ZENDAI Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai; Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Sydney; Conde Duque Museum, Madrid.


Toby Walsh (University of New South Wales, Australia)

Artificial and Natural Minds

ABSTRACT: Artificial Intelligence sets out to build what might be thought of as “artificial” minds in silicon. How far are we towards this grand scientific challenge? How might such “minds” differ from our biological minds? Will they match or even exceed what humans can do? And how do we program ethics into them? ​

BIO: Toby Walsh is Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales and Data61, guest professor at TU Berlin and adjunct professor at QUT. He was named by the Australian newspaper as one of the “rock stars” of Australia’s digital revolution. Professor Walsh is a strong advocate for limits to ensure AI is used to improve our lives. He has been a leading voice in the discussion about autonomous weapons (aka “killer robots”), speaking at the UN in New York and Geneva on the topic. He is a Fellow of the Australia Academy of Science and recipient of the NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Engineering and ICT. He appears regularly on TV and radio, and has authored two books on AI for a general audience, the most recent entitled “2062: The World that AI Made”.


Katsumi Watanabe (Waseda University, Japan, University of New South Wales, Australia)

Agency, experience, and social interactions in cognitive scientific views

ABSTRACT: How do we humans and robots/AIs behave, feel, and interact in the complex social worlds? While technologies and artifacts are to be understood in their specific natural environmental, social and cultural contexts, robots (in particular humanoid, android, social robots) and intelligent agents (i.e., AI) form a particular category in terms of both expectation toward and perception of them. First, they are thought to be (or expected to be) partly capable of exploring their environments and interact with other objects, artifacts and living beings, namely, they have (semi-)agency. Also, they are thought to be (or expected to be) partly capable of interpreting and producing essential elements of communications, including gestures and facial expression etc., which would be based on or eventually lead to experience similar to those we feel, namely, they have (semi-)personal experience. Further, with or without agency and personal experience, they are thought to be (or expected to be) serve as social interfaces and mirror images of humans, which somehow drive us to produce robots and AIs that resemble human bodies or emulate characteristics of a human appearance and behavior.

These issues are inherently intertwined with the culturally and socially specific projections, meanings, norms of interactions and expectations involving humanoid and android robots, for example when looking at differing degrees of acceptance regarding social and emotional work, care and medical assistance or education. Answers depend on the position of the observer and evoke situated knowledge. While detailed and deep analyses of various examples in real environments are important to understand and predict human-machine interactions in the future, a lot could be learned from studies from empirical and experimental studies of human perception, action, and behavior of, toward, with other humans and artifacts. In this talk, I would like to illustrate how cognitive psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience have dealt with above (and other) issues by introducing several examples of experimental studies of human-human and human-robot interactions, which include the topics of robot appearance and acceptance, pareidolia and animacy perception, cultural diversity of face and body perception, implicit behavioral and affective contagion, neural correlates cooperation, etc. in order to provide some food for thoughts on the topics in this symposium.

BIO: Katsumi Watanabe is Full Professor at Waseda University (Department of Intermedia Art and Science) and Professor, University of New South Wales (Art and Design), Sydney, Australia. He received B.A in experimental psychology and M.A. in life sciences from the University of Tokyo and his PhD in Computation and Neural Systems from California Institute of Technology, for his work in crossmodal interaction in humans. He was a research fellow at National Institute of Health (USA), a researcher at the National Institute of Advanced Science and Technology (Japan), and Associate Professor at the University fo Tokyo (Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology). His laboratory research focuses on perception, cognition, action, decision making, social perception, individual difference, brain functions, and affective science. The main themes include:scientific investigations on explicit and implicit processes in human perception, cognition and action, interdisciplinary approaches to cognitive sciences, practical applications of knowledge of cognitive, neuro and affective sciences.