Learning to live with robots | Goethe-Institut UK

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Cartoon of a robot walking dogs© Goethe Institut London. Illustration: Carlos D'Agaro.

When AI takes a familiar form
Learning to live with robots

Everywhere we look new technologies are emerging around us - at work, at school, in our homes, and across the cultural sector. As we welcome more technologies into our lives, we must also ensure that we maintain ethical standards along the way. In particular, with AI-led technologies such as robotics, the replacement of humans and human functions requires not only ethical standards to be upheld but also a reassurance that humans will not be completely replaced and pushed out of work altogether. 

Fear that these expectations and standards might not be met are reasons why some institutions have been more resistant to the idea of welcoming robots. In this dossier, we explore how the cultural attitudes of nations impact their relationship to adopting new technologies. In the case of the British, it appears we are rather sceptical. 

As the cultural institution of the Federal Republic of Germany, we must think about how these technological advancements will impact us in the future and how we can incorporate these changes into our own work, to create better cultural and educational experiences. In this dossier, we delve into how these new technologies are being experienced in the UK and beyond. 

A very British perspective

Here you can read more from award-winning journalists and psychologists about why we Brits are so resistant to welcoming robots into our lives. 

Robot reading in front of tv© Goethe-Institut London. Illustration: Carlos D'Agaro.

Our Library and Robotics

The Library at the Goethe-Institut London is not only home to our robot Gilon, but also a range of books and media to assist you in exploring the topic of robotics deeper. Below you can browse through our hand-picked selection of books and media free to rent in our Onleihe. Almost all of the books and media are in German only - An excellent excuse to expand your vocabulary! 

Introductory texts

Fiction and Pop culture

Political and Philosophical Thinking

Our Robot in the library © Goethe Institut London. Illustration: Carlos D'Agaro.

Our Robot

As a way to delve further into the topic of robotics, culture and education, we purchased our own robot: Gilon, who lives in our library. Visit us at the institute in South Kensington if you are interested in exploring what it is like to interact with a robot. 

An International Pespective

Here you can discover more about the topic of Robotics via our online magazine Zeitgeister, which aims to bring together international perspectives from culture and society. 

Three robotic heads with human features, all called Tengai, next to each other Photo (detail): © Tengai Unbiased

Humanoide Robots

How do you completely eliminate bias in recruiting situations? With robots - claims software developer Vanja Tufvesson. She has founded an NGO, which organizes Coding Camps for women-identifying people, and has worked on the development on the world’s first unbiased robot.

Older woman with folded hands sitting opposite a robot Photo (detail): picture alliance / BSIP | BSIP

Social Robotics

When machines become “social” interaction partners, we need to revisit our understanding of sociality. This is a conversation with the philosopher, Johanna Seibt, Aarhus University, who works in the new research area of “robophilosophy”​and launched the biennial conference, which in 2020 took place online from 18 to 21 August.

Artificial Intelligence Photo (detail): © Adobe

Artificial Intelligence

On the insurmountable distinctions between humans and machines – an essay.

Image of Pavla Koucká © Private

AI and Psychology

Artificial intelligence is like a mother who arranges everything for us, – says psychologist Pavla Koucká. If we are not careful, we will end up like spoiled children – dependent and unable to develop real relationships. How can we make meaningful use of artificial intelligence while continuing to develop as humans?