Transience, Replication, and the Paradox of Social Robotics

Lecture | November 4 | 6:30-8 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Guy Hoffman

 Arts + Design

Presented by the Berkeley Center for New Media

Guy Hoffman, Robotics Researcher, Cornell University

As we continue to develop social robots designed for connectedness, we struggle with paradoxes related to authenticity, transience, and replication. In this talk, Cornell University robotics researcher Guy Hoffman links his fifteen years of experience designing social robots with hundred-year-old texts on transience, replication, and the fear of dying. Can there be meaningful relationships with robots who do not suffer natural decay? What would our families look like if we all chose to buy identical robotic family members? Could handcrafted robotics offer a relief from the mass replication of the robot’s physical body and thus also from the mass customization of social experiences?

Biography:
Dr. Guy Hoffman is an Assistant Professor and the Mills Family Faculty Fellow in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. Prior to that he was an Assistant Professor at IDC Herzliya and co-director of the IDC Media Innovation Lab. Hoffman holds a Ph.D from MIT in the field of human-robot interaction. He heads the Human-Robot Collaboration and Companionship (HRC2) group, studying the algorithms, interaction schema, and designs enabling close interactions between people and personal robots in the workplace and at home. Among others, Hoffman developed the world’s first human-robot joint theater performance, and the first real-time improvising human-robot Jazz duet. His research papers won several top academic awards, including Best Paper awards at robotics conferences in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2018, and 2019. His TEDx talk is one of the most viewed online talks on robotics, watched more than 3 million times.

For more information, visit artsdesign.berkeley.edu.

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Arts + Design Mondays @ BAMPFA is organized and sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Arts + Design Initiative. In-kind support is provided by BAMPFA.

The series is co-curated by the UC Berkeley Department of Art Practice; American Indian Graduate Program; Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium; Berkeley Center for New Media; and Graduate School of Journalism, and by the City of Richmond.

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