Centre researcher Naoko Abe has successfully received a grant from The Australian-French Association for Research and Innovation (AFRAN) Inc for her project “Australia-France Forum on Human-Machine Relationship”.
Australia-France Forum on Human-Machine Relationship is a gathering at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, in order to discuss novel technologies deployed in Australia and France and advance the sociological understanding of the human-machine relationship.
Intelligent systems, such as robots or Artificial Intelligences, are being increasingly adopted into our everyday lives. As a result, Australian and French societies are experiencing rapid technological changes and dramatic impacts within multiple domains. There are some conceptual differences between Australia and France with regard to “intelligent machine”. Intelligent systems are designed to behave as if they had an ‘agency’, which in sociology is defined as ‘the capacity to act independently’. However, creating a so-called ‘social robot’ or ‘social machine’, which is expected to interact with humans in a social context, requires an introduction of a ‘social structure’ which guides and limits behaviour of such machines. In the Australian social science context, the intelligent machine is examined through the notion of agency, while in France the theory of social structure is dominant.
The goal of the project is to develop a discussion between Australian and French scholars from social sciences and Humanities on their sociological understanding of the human-machine relationship.
The project is in collaboration with Prof Eric Brian, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris.