Robot Thought?!- Thinking about Robots

Lead Research Organisation: University of the West of England
Department Name: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Abstract

How would you like to have your house cleaned automatically by a robot? Would you trust a robot babysitter? Do you think you would fancy a robot partner? How far do you think present-day robotics technology has actually advanced - can you tell the difference between science fact and science fiction? If a fully-functional, thinking robot could be developed, would you consider it human?How many of us have really considered the technical challenges and ethical issues of robotics research? Robot Thought? - Thinking about Robots is an event designed to enable family audiences to consider and convey their opinions on issues relating to science and engineering. The event uses the format of short dramatic vignettes to highlight important practical, personal and social issues relating to robotics. During each vignette a particular concept or issue is presented to the audience, who are then encouraged to express their opinions and concerns about the issues, and debate the implications of robotics on future society.The event format has already been trialled in Bristol, to great acclaim. This project will involve taking the highly popular and thought provoking performances to family audiences across the country. Eight science communication venues and four robotics research laboratories have signed on as partners to enhance the delivery and dissemination of this exciting event format over the course of the two-year project.

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