Robot Expert Panel (REP) II

The REELER project will host our second Robot Expert Panel (REP) workshop September 4th, 2018, in Milan Italy. It will be at Centro Congressi Palazzo Delle Stelline in Milan and run from 09.30-16.30, followed by a dinner in the evening.    

Roboticists and REELER researchers will engage in the dramatic action method of Sociodrama, followed by a panel discussion. Sociodrama involves a mapping of systems (socio-political, financial, organisational, or personal) and the roles that people play within these systems. Sociodrama also explores the relationships between the players and the forces that influence behaviour and feelings.

The REP brings the expertise of robotocists in developing and implementing robotic technologies, together with the empirical findings on social and ethical effects from REELER's ethnographic research and macro-economic impact analyses. Professional sociodramatist Valerie Monti Holland will help us consider how we (roboticists, stakeholders, politicians and social scientists) might better understand the impacts of robots in society.   

Feedback from the previous REP

At our first REP, we unfolded the possible impact of concepts like learning, design, motivation, engineering, and dignity on people’s acceptance of selected robots represented in the group. We also critically explored the societal effects of implementation - for example, how particular design features of an eldercare robot might affect dignity and sociality for the elder, and the independence of the human carer.

The method was well received by participants from the robotics community:

“Social drama was completely new to me and I was surprised how well it worked. I would have never thought that embodying a concept and staying in this perspective for discussion would work so well.”  -- Nadine Bender, KUKA

“Definitely working as a designer and visionary of new types of robots this really helped me a lot to see other aspects related to ethics and society I haven't experienced before. So designers of new androids, robots or humanoids must take these into consideration while at the same time not withholding their imagination for revolutionising the field of robotics.” -- Panayiotis Philimis, CyRIC           

We found that the method opened up for in-depth discussions in the Robot Expert Panel, drawing on the themes explored through the dramatic scenarios. We look forward to delving into new topics at what we hope will be an enlightening interdisciplinary event. 

You can read more about REP I, here.