TU Wien Informatics

Lunch Talk: Astrid Weiss

  • 2022-05-11
  • Talk
  • Research
  • Event

‘One cannot know everything’ — On the need of epistemological diversity in human-centered Human-Robot-Interaction Research

Lunch Talk: Astrid Weiss
Picture: Volodymyr Hryshchenko

Lunch Talk

The Lunch Talk Series offers new faculty members a platform to present their research and network among the faculty and its various research units. Dean Gerti Kappel will give a welcome address and moderate the talk. Following the lecture, we invite you to join us for refreshments and coffee at the Rózsa Péter-Foyer.


‘One cannot know everything’ — On the Need of Epistemological Diversity In Human-centered Human-Robot-Interaction Research

It is argued that Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) is different not only from Human-Human Interaction, but also from Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Laypeople seem to perceive autonomous robots differently than most other computing technologies. In this talk (as in my habilitation treatise), I argue for more epistemological diversity in HRI research, going beyond the dominant positivist approaches stemming from experimental psychology and robotics.

I support my argument through showcasing some of my empirical work from the last 10 years, categorized into three different approaches of human-centered HRI research: (1) human-translated approach, (2) stakeholder approach, and (3) co-shaping approach. My research indicates that the main reason robots and other technologies are perceived and treated differently, is that they have stronger agency in society – an aspect that due to the ubiquity of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning becomes more and more relevant in the HCI community in general.

About Astrid Weiss

Astrid Weiss is Assistant Professor at TU Wien Informatics’ Human Computer Interaction Research Unit. She studied sociology and earned her doctorate in social sciences and Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Salzburg. Already during her studies, she specialized in methods of empirical social research and applied statistics. After her doctorate, she was a postdoc at the HCI & Usability Unit, at the ICT & S Center, and at the Christian Doppler Laboratory for „Contextual Interfaces“ at the University of Salzburg. She also had research stays at the University of Amsterdam (Intelligent Systems Lab) and the University of Twente (Human Media Interaction Group). Currently, Astrid Weiss is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Visual Computing & Human-Centered Technology at TU Wien Informatics. Weiss is one of Austria’s key figures in the interdisciplinary research field of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), as evidenced by numerous articles, lectures, and conference organizations. She is particularly interested in the effects of technology on everyday life and what motivates people to reject or accept technology.

Before joining TU Wien Informatics through an FWF-Elise-Richter grant, Weiss worked as a FWF-Hertha-Firnberg scientist at the Vision4Robotics Group (Institute of Automation and Control, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, TU Wien), researching the effects of faulty robot behavior on human-robot collaboration. Astrid Weiss is regarded as one of the pioneers in the combination of empirical social research and robotics, both in co-designing the research field and in industry-related research. In 2018, she was elected as a member of the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW). In April 2022 she successfully defended her habilitation treatise in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Salzburg.

Read more about Astrid Weiss in her interview in the context of our #5QW series.

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