Social Cognition meets Ex Machina: Wittgensteinian Worries about Social Robotics


Daniel D. Hutto


We are in the midst of an info-revolution. It is a time of deep learning and big data. The robots are coming! Artificial intelligences are coming! Indeed, both are already here, and developing fast. This makes the practical puzzle of social robotics urgent: How can we create these new agents so that they interact fluidly with us? In considering this question, this presentation will look at lessons we can draw from the interactive turn that dominates enactive and embodied cognitive science and the best new theorizing about the basis of human social cognition. These considerations prompt the crucial question: to what extent do we need to ensure that social robots and AIs share our ‘form of life’ if we are to welcome and trust their company and merely have effective, but potentially unpredictable, interactions with them.


daniel hutto

Daniel D. Hutto is Senior Professor of Philosophical Psychology at the University of Wollongong, Associate Dean of Research of the Faculty of Law, Humanities, and the Arts, and member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts. He is co-author of the award-winning Radicalizing Enactivism (MIT, 2013) and its sequel, Evolving Enactivism (MIT, 2017). His other recent books, include: Folk Psychological Narratives (MIT, 2008) and Wittgenstein and the End of Philosophy (Palgrave, 2006). He is editor ofNarrative and Understanding Persons (CUP, 2007) and Narrative and Folk Psychology(Imprint Academic, 2009). A special yearbook, Radical Enactivism, focusing on his philosophy of intentionality, phenomenology and narrative, was published in 2006. He is regularly invited to speak not only at philosophy conferences but at expert meetings of anthropologists, clinicians, educationalists, narratologists, neuroscientists and psychologists.

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