Sherry Turkle on Robotics and Relational Artifacts

Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauz?? Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and the founder (2001) and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, a center of research and reflection on the evolving connections between people and artifacts. Professor Turkle received a joint doctorate in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed clinical psychologist.

Professor Turkle is the author of Psychoanalytic Politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud’s French Revolution (Basic Books, 1978; MIT Press paper, 1981; second revised edition, Guilford Press, 1992); The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit (Simon and Schuster, 1984; Touchstone paper, 1985; second revised edition, MIT Press, 2005); and Life on the Screen:  Identity in the Age of the Internet (Simon and Schuster, November 1995; Touchstone paper, 1997).

Seminars and workshops at the Initiative on Technology and Self led to four edited collections, all published by the MIT Press, on the relationships between things and thinking. The first volume, Evocative Objects: Things We Think With, was published in Fall 2007. The second volume, Falling For Science: Objects in Mind, appeared in Spring 2008. The third volume, The Inner History of Devices, was published in Fall 2008. The final volume, Simulation and Its Discontents, followed in Spring 2009. Professor Turkle is currently completing a book on robots and the human spirit based on the Initiative’s 10-year research program on relational artifacts.

Professor Turkle has written numerous articles on psychoanalysis and culture and on the “subjective side” of people’s relationships with technology, especially computers. She is engaged in active study of robots, digital pets, and simulated creatures, particularly those designed for children and the elderly as well as in a study of mobile cellular technologies. Profiles of Professor Turkle have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Scientific American, and Wired Magazine. She is a featured media commentator on the effects of technology for CNN, NBC, ABC, and NPR, including appearances on such programs as Nightline and 20/20.

I (andra) recommend reading some of Turkle’s papers on nascent robotics and relational artifacts. Although I’m not certain how to relate that to my art. lol.

About Michael Harries

Technologist - emerging technologies, machine intelligence, foundational tech - startups and more.
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