The Future Of Human-Robot Interaction | Aspen Ideas Festival 2017
The robots are coming and they’re getting smarter, evolving from single-task devices (think Roomba) into machines that can make their own decisions and autonomously navigate public spaces. From transportation systems, hospitals, and the military, to the robotization of our workplaces and households, robots will be everywhere and will increasingly interact with people. Whether you find it exhilarating or terrifying (or both), progress in robotics and related fields like AI raises new ethical quandaries and challenges to legal codes that were created for a world in which a sharp line separated man from machine. Drawing from her work exploring humans’ emotional responses to robots, Kate Darling examines why people fear some robots and empathize with others, while also prompting — and answering — questions about what society’s relationship with these robots could look like in the future— and why it matters.
Social Robotics Expert & MIT Media Lab Research Specialist
- Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
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A leading expert in robot ethics, Dr. Kate Darling is a research specialist at the MIT Media Lab, where she investigates social robotics and conducts experimental studies on human-robot interaction. Forever interested in how technology intersects with society, Kate has a background in law & economics and intellectual property, she explores the emotional connection between people and life-like machines, seeking to influence technology design and policy direction. Her writing and research anticipate difficult questions that lawmakers, engineers, and the wider public will need to address as human-robot relationships evolve in the coming decades. Dr. Darling’s work has been featured in international media, and she has authored multiple academic publications and contributed to industry publications from Vogue to Die Zeit to the BBC, and in 2017, the American Bar Association honored her legal work with the Mark T. Banner Award in Intellectual Property.