The Representative is a foundation step into my research exploring the automation of personality and presence.

The 19th century has seen the automation of labour and movement, while the 20th century marked the automation of information processing. Shannon's information theoretic and Turing's computational paradigms have led to digital ubiquity. More and more areas of society are rapidly transformed - automated - and a crucial area is communication. I argue, what we can see with personal voice assistants, smart autoresponders and telepresence systems is only the very beginning of this development. Currently, there are crucial aspects missing in order to include machines into social systems of communication, and a central one is presence. 

The Representative explores the following questions: can we automate presence by creating digital/physical representations of ourselves, like envoys or deputies that convey our personality and are able take part in social situations? To what extent can personality be embedded in code and how does it affect trust in a machine? How much autonomy would we allow our representatives, for example negotiating and signing a contract on our behalf versus playful conversations at a party?

I addition to research in artificial intelligence and machine learning, immersive characters, robotic language development, embodied theories, chatbots and automated trading systems, I am drawing from theories in sociology and psychology, in particular Luhmann's theory of social systems and Friedemann Schulz v. Thun's psychological work on communication.

I have outlined my theoretical background at the 2019 AISB convention in Falmouth.


The Representative

meet me on twitter: @crcdng