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FnS - What does culture mean for cultural robotics?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mirco Giacobbe.

Abstract: The vast majority of approaches to introducing cultural factors into robotics rely on what is perceived to be a national culture. It has been shown that the oversimplified confounding of culture and nationality results in implicit support for conservative social policies, and the reproduction of cultural stereotypes. However, there are many theories of culture not based solely on nationality. These theories come from different disciplines ranging from psychology, linguistics, anthropology and political science to philosophy, only to name a few. In robotics, there are many knowledge representations, automated reasoning, and machine learning techniques, each of which has a different expressivity, and varying computational capacities that can be harnessed for representing a different interpretation of culture. This talk advocates an epistemic analysis of cultural theories through the lens of AI methods as an essential step for endowing robots with culture. I argue that such an analysis not only allows us to identify which fundamental theories of culture are candidates to be programmed into, or learned by robots, but also provides transparency in how an intelligent robot behaves in different cultural contexts.

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This talk is part of the Facts and Snacks series.

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