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(2017) Sociality and normativity for robots, Dordrecht, Springer.

Towards an ontology of simulated social interaction

varieties of the "as if" for robots and humans

Johanna Seibt

pp. 11-39

The paper develops a general conceptual framework for the ontological classification of human-robot interaction. After arguing against fictionalist interpretations of human-robot interactions, I present five notions of simulation or partial realization, formally defined in terms of relationships between process systems (approximating, displaying, mimicking, imitating, and replicating). Since each of the n criterial processes for a type of two-agent interaction (mathfrak{I}) can be realized in at least six modes (full realization plus five modes of simulation), we receive a (6n × n) × (6n × n) matrix of symmetric and asymmetric modes of realizing (mathfrak{I}), called the 'simulatory expansion" of interaction type (mathfrak{I}). Simulatory expansions of social interactions can be used to map out different kinds and degrees of sociality in human-human and human-robot interaction, relative to current notions of sociality in philosophy, anthropology, and linguistics. The classificatory framework developed (SISI) thus represents the field of possible simulated social interactions. SISI can be used to clarify which conceptual and empirical grounds we can draw on in order to evaluate capacities and affordances of robots for social interaction, and it provides the conceptual means to build up a taxonomy of human-robot interaction.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-53133-5_2

Full citation:

Seibt, J. (2017)., Towards an ontology of simulated social interaction: varieties of the "as if" for robots and humans, in R. Hakli & J. Seibt (eds.), Sociality and normativity for robots, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 11-39.

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