Art and robotics: sixty years of situated machines [Book Review]

AI and Society 28 (2):147-156 (2013)
This paper pursues the intertwined tracks of robotics and art since the mid 20th century, taking a loose chronological approach that considers both the devices themselves and their discursive contexts. Relevant research has occurred in a variety of cultural locations, often outside of or prior to formalized robotics contexts. Research was even conducted under the aegis of art or cultural practices where robotics has been pursued for other than instrumental purposes. In hindsight, some of that work seems remarkably prescient of contemporary trends. The context of cultural robotics is a highly charged interdisciplinary test environment in which the theory and pragmatics of technical research confronts the phenomenological realities of physical and social being in the world, and the performative and processual practices of the arts. In this context, issues of embodiment, material instantiation, structural coupling, and machine sensing have provoked the reconsideration of notions of (machine) intelligence and cognitivist paradigms. The paradoxical condition of robotics vis-à-vis artificial intelligence is reflected upon. This paper discusses the possibility of a new embodied ontology of robotics that draws upon both cybernetics and post-cognitive approaches
Keywords Robotics  Robotic art  Artificial intelligence  Cybernetics  Cognitivism  Situated cognition  Media art
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DOI 10.1007/s00146-012-0404-4
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