Interview on the impact of digitalisation on social services

Today I was interviewed as an expert in the field of assistive robotics for a European-wide study on the impact of digitalisation on social services (conducted by Eurofund in cooperation of VVA and TNO).

I was asked in a structured interview for my views about digitalisation in social services in Austria with respect to robots in elderly care. Besides giving an overview on the state of the art of relevant robotic developments in this area, I above all tried to stress the relevance of user-centered development involving several stakeholders, not only primary user, but also secondary users and institutions such as insurances.

I will update this post as soon as the project report is available.

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Elected member of the Young Academy

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I am very honored to be one  of the 29 new members the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) welcomes  to its ranks. At the annual election on 20 April 2018, 16 female and 13 male researchers were “inducted in recognition of their scholarly achievements and their reputation within their respective fields”.

The Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) is Austria’s central non-university research and science institution. Its statutory mission is to “promote science in every way”.

My personal agenda for my 8 years election period is (1) promoting interdisciplinary research, (2) mentoring women in science, and (3) strengthening the “akademischen Mittelbau” (a specific administrative structure in the Austrian University System).x

First ShardSpace Publication

buddy-family-companion-robotI am happy to announce that my first publication on my new FWF Elise-Richter project SharedSpace was accepted for publication for a workshop held in conjunction with PETRA2018:

Social Robots. A Workshop on the Past, the Present and the Future of Digital Companions

The paper outlines the research agenda of the project and the underlying sociological framework. It is co-authored with Glenda Hannibal, who will also present the work at the workshop in Corfu in June.

Austrian HCI Networking Event

jason-leung-370358-1000x400Last Friday I attended the first Austrian HCI Networking event, organized by Katta Spiel (PhD student TU Wien) and Alina Krischkowsky (PhD student University of Salzburg). It was a great event, where I had the chance to meet former colleagues from Salzburg, but also new people from all over Austria, working in HCI, I was not even aware of. We had great discussions getting to know the PhD topics of all students, but also among senior researchers. I am glad that 2 PhD students, finally took the initiative to bring Austria HCI researchers in  one location and I hope that this event becomes an annual thing!

Attending Robo-Philosophy

robo2018_bannerbig.jpgLast week I attended the Robo-Philosopohy conference hosted by University of Vienna. The conference theme was:  Envisioning Robots In Society: Politics, Power, And Public Space. I was delighted by the 2 keynotes  I manged to attend by Guy Standing and Hiroshi Ishiguro (very unfortunately I missed the keynote of Joanna Bryson, but I have already heard 2 brilliant keynotes from her at other venues!). Also the talks and workshops offered me new and different perspectives on my work in Human-Robot Interaction. I hope in future to see an even closer collaboration of philosophy and robotics…we need a way to implement these thoughts in actual AI systems. One of the promising talks on how to bring social practices and robotics closer together was given by Aurelie Clodic from CNRS-LAAS.

Unfortunately, for personal reasons I could not give my announced talk entitled:

Laundry and Garbage collection – a reasonable scenario for a care facility robot?  

However, if you are interested in my thoughts, I am happy to share my audio supplemented slides with you!