Guy Hoffman

Transience, Replication, and the Paradox of Social Robotics

Date 11/4/19

Affiliation Assistant Professor and the Mills Family Faculty Fellow, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University

Abstract

As we continue to develop social robots designed for connectedness, we struggle with paradoxes related to authenticity, transience, and replication. In this talk, I will attempt to link together 15 years of experience designing social robots with 100-year-old texts on transience, replication, and the fear of dying. Can there be meaningful relationships with robots who do not suffer natural decay? What would our families look like if we all choose to buy identical robotic family members? Could hand-crafted robotics offer a relief from the mass-replication of the robot’s physical body and thus also from the mass-customization of social experiences?


Bio

Dr. Guy Hoffman is an Assistant Professor and the Mills Family Faculty Fellow in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. Prior to that he was an Assistant Professor at IDC Herzliya and co-director of the IDC Media Innovation Lab. Hoffman holds a Ph.D from MIT in the field of human-robot interaction. He heads the Human-Robot Collaboration and Companionship (HRC2) group, studying the algorithms, interaction schema, and designs enabling close interactions between people and personal robots in the workplace and at home. Among others, Hoffman developed the world’s first human-robot joint theater performance, and the first real-time improvising human-robot Jazz duet. His research papers won several top academic awards, including Best Paper awards at robotics conferences in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2018, and 2019. His TEDx talk is one of the most viewed online talks on robotics, watched more than 3 million times.

-- As of 11/4/19