Say hello to our new colleague, Pepper the robot

A significant shift is underway concerning how we humans relate to technology. Up until now, we’ve talked through machines, for instance communicating with our loved ones via our mobile phones. Now, we’re talking to them, with them, and holding conversations with robots in settings like schools, hospitals and town halls. We are no longer regarding machines as interfaces who do something for us but increasingly we’re trusting machines to decide what to do.

As the core interest of Experience Lab is to explore meetings between humans and modern, digital technology, we’ll explore what this shift means for us human beings, for instance in terms of sociability, companionship, caring and learning. As a first step, Susanne Hägglund and Sören Andersson are acquiring a humanoid robot, Pepper, to the lab. When Pepper has found its feet, exploratory studies in classroom and caring settings will be conducted. Exciting times ahead, indeed!

Photo: Monique van der Linde