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Title:On the Margins of the Machine: Heteromation and Robotics
Author(s):Ekbia, Hamid R.; Nardi, Bonnie; Sabanovic, Selma
Subject(s):social informatics
human-computer interaction
information technology and work
Abstract:Growing interest in robotics in policy and professional circles promises a future where machines will perform many of the social and institutional functions that have traditionally belonged to human beings. This promise is based on the unexamined premise that robots can act autonomously, without much support from their human users. Close examination of current social robots, however, introduces a different image, where human labor is critically needed for any meaningful operation of these systems. Such labor is normally unacknowledged and made invisible in media and academic portrayals of robotic systems. We take issue with this erasure, and seek to bring human labor to the fore. Drawing on the concept of “heteromation,” we illustrate the indispensible role of human labor in the functioning of many of the existing technological systems. Given current uncertainties in the robotic design space, we explore various scenarios for the future development of these systems, and the different ways by which they might unfold.
Issue Date:2015-03-15
Series/Report:iConference 2015 Proceedings
Genre:Conference Paper/Presentation
Peer Reviewed:yes
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 is held by the authors. Copyright permissions, when appropriate, must be obtained directly from the authors.
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-03-24

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