This paper aims to study the role of the social robot Probo in providing assistance to a therapist for robot assisted therapy (RAT) with autistic children. Children with autism have difficulties with social interaction and several studies indicate that they show preference toward interaction with objects, such as computers and robots, rather than with humans. In 1991, Carol Gray developed Social Stories, an intervention tool aimed to increase children's social skills. Social stories are short scenarios written or tailored for autistic (...) individuals to help them understand and behave appropriately in social situations. This study shows that, in specific situations, the social performance of autistic children improves when using the robot Probo, as a medium for social story telling, than when a human reader tells the stories. The robot tells Social Stories to teach ASD children how to react in situations like saying “hello“, saying “thank you“ and “sharing toys“. The robot has the capability of expressing emotions and attention via its facial expressions and its gaze. The paper discusses the use of Probo as an added-value therapeutic tool for social story telling and presents the first experimental results. Keywords: social robot; ASD children; social story; robot assisted therapy. (shrink)
Michel Callon, Pierre Lascoumes and Yannick Barthe, Acting in an Uncertain World: An Essay on Technical Democracy Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 509-511 DOI 10.1007/s11024-011-9186-y Authors Thomas Berker, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture, Centre for Technology and Society, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway Journal Minerva Online ISSN 1573-1871 Print ISSN 0026-4695 Journal Volume Volume 49 Journal Issue Volume 49, Number 4.
In 1984 the renowned biologist Edward O. Wilson wrote that we are human in good part because of the particular way we affiliate with other organisms. They are the matrix in which the human mind originated and is permanently rooted, and they offer the challenge and freedom innately sought. To the extent that each person can feel like a naturalist, the old excitement of the untrammeled world will be regained. I offer this as a formula of reenchantment to invigorate poetry (...) and myth: mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit. Splendor awaits in minute proportions.1 This poetical quote nicely captures the essence of Wilson’s biophilia hypothesis. While the notion .. (shrink)
What should maximin egalitarians think about seniority privileges? We contrast a good-specific and an all-things-considered perspective. As to the former, inertia and erasing effects of a seniority-based allocation of benefits from employment are identified, allowing us to spot the categories of workers and job-seekers made involuntarily worse off by such a practice. What matters however is to find out whether abolishing seniority privileges will bring about a society in which the all-things-considered worst off people are better off than in the (...) seniority rule's presence. An assessment of the latter's cost-reduction potential is thus needed, enabling us to bridge a practice taking place within a firm with its impact on who the least well off members of society are likely to be. Three accounts of the profitability of seniority privileges are discussed: the “(firm specific) human capital”, the “deferred compensation” and the “knowledge transfer” ones. The respective relevance of “good-specific” and “all-things-considered” analysis is discussed. It turns out that under certain circumstances, a maximin egalitarian case for seniority privileges could be made. Senior: Do you know that they are planning layoffs? Of course, it is only fair that they lay-off the newcomers first! After all, I have been loyal to the company for many years. Junior: Did I choose to be a newcomer? Footnotes1 Many thanks to two anonymous referees, to P.-M. Boulanger, B. Cockx, C. Fabre, L. Jacquet, E. Lazear, I. Robeyns, G. Vallée, Y. Vanderborght, Ph. Van Parijs, V. Vansteenberghe and J. de Wispelaere for their help and critical comments. Earlier versions of this paper were presented in Louvain-la-Neuve, Ghent, Montevideo and London. I am very grateful to these audiences. Special thanks to G. Brennan for his extensive and extremely valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper. The usual disclaimers apply. (shrink)
Far-reaching promises made by nanotechnology have raised the question of whether we are on the way to understanding human beings more and more as belonging to the realm of technology. In this paper, an increasing need to understand the technological re-conceptualization of human beings is diagnosed whenever increasingly “technical” interpretations of humans as mechanical entities are disseminated. And this can be observed at present in the framework of nanobiotechnology, a foremost “technical” self-description where a technical language is adopted. The arena (...) in which the decision is made on increasing the use of technological understanding to define mankind will not be found in the surgery room in which one works with implants, nor the NBIC-laboratory, in which “nerve plugs” are supposed to be developed. The thesis of this paper is that such arena is rather related to the manner in which concepts of humanity are associated with it, how we think and talk about ourselves, and which consequences we draw out of it. (shrink)
In the slipstream of several large-scale corporate scandals, the board of directors has gained a pivotal position in the corporate governance debate. However, due to an overreliance on particular methodological (i.e. input–output studies) and theoretical (i.e. agency theory) research fortresses in past board research, academic knowledge concerning how this important governance mechanism actually operates and functions remains relatively limited. This theoretical paper aims to contribute to the promising stream of research which focuses on behavioural perspectives and processes within the corporate (...) board, by delving into one of the research areas perhaps plagued most by these predominant approaches: board leadership. In adopting a team perspective on the board of directors our study goes beyond traditional board leadership research, which has turned a blind eye on actual leadership dynamics, by examining leadership processes and behaviours inside the board team. Specifically, we develop a conceptual framework addressing a novel and ethical approach to team leadership within the board, i.e. shared leadership, which has previously been demonstrated to result in performance benefits in various other team settings. (shrink)