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Care, Automated

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McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology

39 Queen's Park Crescent East

Toronto, ON M5S 2C3

Canada

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Care, Automated
Workshop with Amelia Abreu, Marc Böhlen, Hermenio Lima, Ian Roderick, Sarah Sharma, David Harris Smith, Frauke Zeller
Hosted by Letters & Handshakes


Lunch will be provided.


The habit of attaching “care” to innately positive attributes obscures its entanglement with dominant systems of power and control. The ambivalence of care is crisply reflected in technological configurations of care/work. In this workshop, seven researchers share their inquiries into intersections of care and technology, in particular, automation. Questioning technological fixes to care crisis, Care, Automated examines how care work’s ongoing machinization coexists with and deepens, rather than disrupts, entrenched social hierarchies and prevailing economic imperatives. Beyond providing critical diagnostics, however, the workshop also sets out to consider how technologies of care/work might be ethically and collaboratively reimagined.

Sarah Sharma takes current discussions of caring robots as an opportunity to highlight the already robotic forms of care and intimacy that comprise gendered commitments and forms of normativity tied to capital. Ian Roderick examines how social robots, programmed to intercede between therapist and patient in Autism Spectrum Disorder behavioural therapy, function as metaphors and mediators of caregiving. Amelia Abreu proposes axioms for understanding the relationship between care and technology, and explores the meaning of the automation of care in a service-oriented economy. Hermenio Lima, David Harris Smith, and Frauke Zeller will discuss a multidisciplinary research project to develop mixed physical and virtual human-robot interaction in the area of healthcare communication to leverage knowledge mobilization and behavioural change. Imagining a future in which machines and not people are the last sentient entities a dying person will see before death, Marc Böhlen presents speculative designs for a “robot to die with.”

Workshop presented in partnership with and funded by the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto.

Image credit: Ars Electronica, “Paro,” 10 March 2011, www.flickr.com/photos/arselectronica/5514133373. Photo credit: rubra/Ars Electronica. This image is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

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McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology

39 Queen's Park Crescent East

Toronto, ON M5S 2C3

Canada

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