Archive for the readings/assignments Category

Nov 1: robots!

Posted in readings/assignments on October 25, 2010 by Kio

Guest: Heather Knight (first part of class)

This week, you’ll work in teams of two. Each team will read a different scholarly study (or 2 if they’re short) on an aspect of humanoid robotics. In class you and your partner will present what you’ve read to the rest of the class for discussion. Plan on about 5-7 minutes to present.

Part A: reading response (one for each team). Note one useful finding in what you’ve read, and one question that you feel the article did not answer, or a further question that the article made you want to find an answer for.

Part B: presenting to class. You’ll need to report on these elements:
-The researchers’ questions
-The researchers’ findings
-Their testing methods–what they did and interesting ways they found to elicit useful responses from their test subjects.
-Your assessment of their methods and findings.

Teams: [article PDFs will be posted here on Tues pm]
Chris Allick and MMC
>Hey, I’m over here
Video observation elicits motor interference

Chris Alden and Poram
All robots are not created equal
Exploring the aesthetic range for humanoid robots

LV and Aaron
Robots in the wild
Making robots emotion-sensitive

Nicholas and Patrick
Intersubjectivity in human-agent interaction

Minette and Ania
Nonverbal intimacy as a benchmark for human-robot interaction
Eliciting information from people with a gendered humanoid robot

Michael and Jeff
Mentalizing to non-human agents by children
Social interaction between robots, avatars, and humans

Liesje and Candice
Emotional movements in social games with robots
Robots as embodied beings

Sebastian and Hana
What is human?


10/18 class on Anthropomorphism

Posted in readings/assignments on October 4, 2010 by Kio

Your reading is Chapters 2, 3 & 4 of Boyer’s Religion Explained. It’s about 110 pages–don’t leave it for the night you come back from break!

Response questions:

-Does any of this blow your mind? If so, cite one particular concept and why.

-What do you think about the methods of evolutionary psychology Boyer is drawing on (inference systems). You can respond with your instinctual reaction, and/or your informed opinion if you’ve read more on evo-psych or the primary sources he cites. Just be sure to separate the two. Let’s get this part out in the responses to me, and I’ll try to respond back. That way we can focus on the ideas he’s offering for interpreting behavior and cognition

-How does Boyer’s work influence your notion of how authentic human-ish interactions might be characterized, and what might promote feelings of authenticity to the participants in an interactions?

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Next month, class will meet on Friday 11/19 instead of the following Monday 11/22. This is so that we can get a play test and visit from Chris Hecker, game designer extraordinare–who created a game called Spy Party that directly bears on our class work.

Sept 27: The Uncanny

Posted in readings/assignments on September 20, 2010 by Kio

Read all three parts of Freud’s essay “The Uncanny” (PDFs)

Freud, The Uncanny (Part I)

Freud, The Uncanny (Part II)

Freud, The Uncanny Part III

For your reading response:
1. Cite one idea, sentence or passage that you find useful or elucidating or thought-provoking, and explain why.
2. Cite one idea, sentence or passage that you find puzzling, or that you strongly disagree with, and explain why.

Reading responses are due by midnight on 9/26, in the body of an email.

Sept 20: The Varieties of Authentic Experience

Posted in readings/assignments on August 29, 2010 by Kio

As a group, we’ll hammer out a working definition of authenticity and explore its edges.

Assigned reading:

1. Sherry Turkle, “Authenticity in the age of digital companions” from Interaction Studies journal (PDF below)

ST_Authenticity in age of digi comp

2. Tom McCarthy, Remainder (novel, purchase at bookstore)

Class assignment:

Be prepared to share and discuss three examples of objects/people/places/experiences whose authenticity is questionable or impossible to evaluate. In doing this, take note of the different ways you’re defining authenticity.