In humans and humanoid robots alike, gender—femininity, masculinity— constitutes an array of learned behaviors that are cosmetically enabled and enhanced. In humans, these behaviors are both socially and historically shaped, but are also contingent upon many situational influences, including individual choices. In this lecture, Dr. Robertson will explore the sex/gender dynamics informing the design and embodiment of artificial intelligence (AI) and robots, especially humanoids in Japan. The argument she will make is that advanced technology does not necessarily promote social progress but rather is deployed to reinforce conservative models of sex/gender roles and family structures.
Earlham College, March 21st 2018
University of Alabama, March 26th 2018