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Anthropomorphic Tech

Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

Thanks for coming to the session! It was wonderful meeting all of you, and I hope you all enjoyed the discussion. Here are the notes from our meeting on March 20th, 2019.

Details

Why are so many personal assistants gendered to be female by default? What human qualities are robot care-takers designed to exhibit? What are the social implications of products like sex robots? What does it mean to be human?

As AI advances, many products are being built with human features as a core part of their design. In this session, we dove into what that means, and explored the decisions and conversations that arise as a result of this.

AGENDA

  • What is this meetup?

    • What is ethics?
  • Quick intros
  • Intro to the topic

    • what I mean by "anthropomorphic tech"
    • recent events that touch on this
    • intro to the ethical issues
    • Clip from BBC documentary?
  • Depending on attendee numbers, split into smaller groups

    • What does it mean to be anthropomorphic?
    • What are the things that need to be considered when designing anthropomorphic tech?
    • Cuteness?

Resources

Questions

  • Would we reveal more to anthropomorphic tech than traditional tech? E.g. interrogation, phishing
  • What about human-computer friendships?
  • Ethical questions of not revealing to the user that they are talking to an AI
  • Why are so many personal assistants gendered to be female by default?
  • What human qualities are robot care-takers designed to exhibit?
  • What are the social implications of products like sex robots?
  • What does it mean to be human-like?

Rough notes from during the discussion

Robots and therapy - no emotional baggage

Transparency of bots - people are more at ease talking to bots

Bias of programs/bots (e.g. in therapy)

Autonomous warfare

"The world is built for humans, so robots that are humanlike can coexist more easily" - Sanctuary AI

Androgynous voices
- Does this propagate violence vs. trans folks

Who can enforce this stuff?
- Government?
- In a capitalist society...
- Education
- So, should there be an ethical certification? A-la LEED

Education + critical thinking: Question your assumptions

Kara Swisher