CAPE Lecture by Prof. Tõnu Viik

2019年10月29日 @ 6:15 PM – 7:45 PM

講演者: Prof. Tõnu Viik (Tallinn University, Estonia)
日時: 2019年10月29日(火) 18:15-19:45
場所: 京都大学文学部一階会議室

Falling in love with an artificial companion: a phenomenological study

According to transhumanist visions (David Levy et al.) it will soon be possible to build robots that mimic human beings in their visual appearance, kinesthetic and gesturing skills. Using different kinds of sensors, they will be able to monitor and process human states of mind, i.e., they will possess skills that would be called emotional intelligence or empathy in case of humans. And they will able to modify and attune their behavior according to their human partners’ states of mind, and carry out oral communication – similarly to how two human partners would do it.

As human partners learn to know each other over time, they will possess a lot of information about their partner’s t behavioral patterns, psychological traits, mental and physical habits, tastes, aesthetic and political preferences, etc. Thus in order to perform as if they were humans the robots would need to become “digital twins” of the human companions that they mimicking. This task would include storing and analyzing masses of data about their human partner, including information about their partner’s health status, consumerist preferences, and political views.

Assuming that it will be technically possible to build such synthetic androids, what are the implications of their presence for human beings? Would it be possible to form romantic relationships with such beings? How would humans experience the otherness of the robotic companion? The talk will address these questions from the point of view of (post-)phenomenology, i.e., from the point of view of human experience of technological alterities. Phenomenological analysis of love experience suggests that romantic feelings include experiencing the alterity of the partner as an affective subjectivity that freely, willingly, and passionately commits to its partner. In other words, the romantic commitment is expected to stem from the sentient inner selves of the lovers, which is one of the features that robots are lacking. Thus the artificial alterity might disengage our romantic aspirations, and, as argued by many, will make them inferior to intraspecies love affairs. The analysis given in the talk will restrain from ethical considerations, however, and will focus on whether synthetic androids can in principle elicit human feelings of love.