Access: Therapy robots, inclusive interface design, and AI as agents of professional communication

Session abstract or description: 

Artificial Intelligent Agents as Professional Communicators | Heidi McKee: In this presentation, I will discuss how artificial intelligent communication agents are changing the networks of communication and the ethics and rhetorics of human-machine relationships and what the implications of these changes for professional communicators and educators.

Wondering About Therapy Robots | Melanie Yergeau: In this talk, I examine the ways in which therapy robots are heralded as techno-cures for disabled people, where robotic companions are proferred as socializing agents for disabled children and elders alike. Rhetorics of helping, access, and friendship are levied as means of making therapy robots seem like a new crip civil right, or a behavioral therapist 2.0. These logics, I argue, assume that disabled people are socially aberrant and require a normative social compass, one that has capacity to surveil and intervene 24-7.

Enabling Inclusive Interface Design: The Emotional Turn in Wearable Technologies | Erin Frost, Michelle Eble, Nikki Caswell: This presentation, situated at the intersection of feminist theory, rhetorics of health and medicine, and technologies, discusses the empirical data collected through health technologies correlated to experiential data along with the implications of these interfaces for the bodies that wear and interact with these technologies.

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Session room: 
Davis 181
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Concurrent Session G