Presenting the Robots and New Media Symposium

26 Mar, 2014

Presenting the Robots and New Media Symposium

The Kingdom of the Netherlands and UC BCNM highlight the next phase in the evolution of robotics with the “Robots and New Media Symposium” on April 4
Follow #NWMediaRobots on Twitter

The days of robotic friends and humanoid caregivers may be closer than you think. For many decades robots have been used to perform a range of roles and duties largely scoped within industrial manufacturing. But recent developments have given way to more social, personal and emotional robotic platforms and applications. The Robotics and New Media Symposium will explore new opportunities in robotics and the legal, philosophical, and ethical dilemmas that come with them.

One of the speakers at the Robots and New Media symposium will be Dutch Professor Mireille Hildebrandt who studies the increasingly important intersection of legal studies and computer science. In her research Hildebrandt focuses on the effects of artificial intelligence on democracy. Professor Hildebrandt: “I propose to embrace robots as part of our Onlife World on the condition that they are not hijacked by business models that thrive on the monetization of personal data. One way of getting there may be to invest in so-called morphological computations that go beyond data driven agency, enabling the emergence of a more soundly embodied and hopefully a more embraceable robot.”

Never before have robots been approached from this neuroscientific perspective, but the Robots and New Media Symposium will bring a change to that. Dutch cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist Shanti Ganesh, the initiator of the event, said: “This symposium will provide a glance forward to the society of the future, where these kinds of robots are part of our social life. Not just as tools, but also as social interaction partners.” She wonders how intimate we will become with robots. “In some countries nursing robots are already extensively being used. Will we be reaching a point where we prefer a nursing robot over a human care taker?”

By dedicating their annual symposium to the theme of robots and new media, UC Berkeley shows their focus on innovation. During the symposium, robots will be introduced as empowering tools for social issues. The Robots and New Media symposium will take place on April 4, 2014 at Sutardja Dai Hall (Citris), UC Berkeley and is free to the public. Members of the media are asked to RSVP to sfn-pcz [​at​] by April 2nd.

For more information, visit