The Human-Humanoid Space-Game

The complexity and unpredictability of the everyday world in which we humans move, usually without any effort, represents a big challenge for robots. Technical perception systems feed space data in the form of numbers, geometries, and images into its control algorithms. Yet up to now they are not able to have both, to get any meaning with that data and to place data in a culturally meaningful relationship to each other. Hence, technical systems exist in other realities than humans in at least two ways. This is an absurd situation and leads to an accumulation of problems as Humanoids are being developed for the most intimate areas of human existence, but they cannot participate in our reality.

In our understanding, a core problem lies within the differences between the human and the technological perception of space. Cultural policies are based on meanings, their spatial situatedness and rich relationships amongst them. A fact that raises the importance of topologies of personal human meanings that are rooted in broader cultural meanings.

For this new field of problems, we argue, that new methods of investigation are needed, which have to be arts-based and interdisciplinary. Therefore, we have conceived an approach, where the different perception systems share a hybrid space model, which is generated in a joint effort by humans and assistive systems by means of an artificial intelligence. The aim of our project is to generate a cultural model of meaning that describe space, which is based on the interaction between human and robot. In short its called cultural space model (CSM). The role of the humanoid robot is defined as “companion“ (Haraway). This should allow for technical systems to include up to now ungraspable human and cultural agendas into their perception of space.

We have developed an arts-based research method called “Space-Game” that is derived from the philosophical language-game (Wittgenstein). It bridges expertise from artistic disciplines (visual arts education, architecture and drama) with those from computer science (automation technology and A.I. research) and the humanities (philosophy and human-robot interaction). We understand a humanoid robot as an embodied artificial agent which perceives information from its environment and has capabilities to act on it, as well as some aspects of autonomy. The research topic of the project is therefore to develop our CSM, involving embodied artificial agents within the same context of meaning as humans. In doing so, our research project tackles how humanoid robots change cultural spaces and how we can develop a CSM through the interaction of humans and humanoids.

The space that is formed between humans is mainly based on the mutual production of cultural meanings and attributions. This is done by non-verbal and natural-language interaction between the humanoid and humans. It leads us to further in both, further understanding in the development of a space model of cultural meaning as well as the development of the model as an artificial intelligence system.

For now, we are about to establish a permanent loop between development and dramatization of cultural situations.