Dr. Laura Voss

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Laura Voss:
More Than Machines? The Attribution of (In)Animacy to Robot Technology

This book is wonderful. … a faboulus contribution to the field!”Prof. Liz W. Faber

“Highly recommended.” – Prof. David. J. Gunkel

We know that robots are just machines. Why then do we often talk about them as if they were alive? Laura Voss explores this fascinating phenomenon, providing a rich insight into practices of animacy (and inanimacy) attribution to robot technology: from science-fiction to robotics R&D, from science communication to media discourse, and from the theoretical perspectives of STS to the cognitive sciences. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective, and backed by a wealth of empirical material, Voss shows how scientists, engineers, journalists – and everyone else – can face the challenge of robot technology appearing »a little bit alive« with a reflexive and yet pragmatic stance.

Review by Dr. Liz W. Faber in Ancillary Review of Books.

Transcript Publishing, 2021