We are pleased to have Kathleen Richardson, Director of Women Ethics Robots AI and Data (WERAID) and Professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots and AI, Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University, join us for this ART-AI seminar, entitled ‘The Robotic production of Dead-End Relationships’. This event will be chaired by ART-AI student Jessica Nicholson.
When researchers in robotics model relationships between users and machines what model of relationship are they using? Are they using one founded on principle of reciprocity, mutuality and cooperation or ones of self serving egocentrism. This talk will explore this in relation to sex robots and child-abuse sex dolls and robots.
I am a Professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots and AI at De Montfort University. I have a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and masters degrees in Law (DMU), Social Anthropology (Cambridge) and Development, Administration and Planning (UCL). I am founder of the Campaign Against Sex Robots and a founding member of The Fates (The Feminist Academy of Technology and Ethics).
I completed my PhD at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge. My fieldwork was an investigation of the making of robots in labs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After my PhD I was fortunate to become a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (BAPDF), a position I held at University College London. My postdoctoral work was an investigation into the therapeutic uses of robots for children with autism spectrum conditions. In 2013, I was part of the Digital Bridges Project, an innovative AHRC funded technology and arts collaboration between Watford Palace Theatre and the University of Cambridge.
I am author of An Anthropology of Robots and AI: Annihilation Anxiety and Machines (2015) and Challenging Sociality? An Anthropology of Autism, Attachment and Robots (2018). I have another book in the pipeline on sex robots.
In 2015 I launched the Campaign Against Sex Robots to draw attention to problematic effects of new technologies on human relations, and their potential impact to create new layers of inequalities between men and women and adults and children. I am developing a theory of robotics inspired by anti-slavery abolitionist and second-wave feminism.