“Tactile Tactics: Getting Close to Technology” by Stedman and Segal

  • ©Nicholas Stedman and Kerry Segal

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    Tactile Tactics: Getting Close to Technology

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    As computers become smarter, stronger, and more woven into the fabric of the world, it is increasingly important to make sure they don’t autonomously cause harm. Even better, they should support health and welfare. But how can technology know what’s good for others, especially when people so often get it wrong? One way is for computers to gauge emotional responses to their actions. Another approach would be to create machines that have genuine feelings akin to our own. Taken together, these concepts provide the foundation for exploring artificial empathy.

    This talk summarizes a project that contributes to artificial empathy by building robots that engage participants through playful touch. Touch is featured because it is a basic, primary and direct means of inducing feeling. It also avoids relying on anthropomorphic features that do not relate to a machine’s instruments. The talk expands the argument for touch as a basis for artificial empathy, discusses the value of games as a framework for guiding touch interaction, and outlines some recent projects.


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