Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino – The Soft Power of Objects

Robotics is a science still in the fledgling stages. Probably that’s why our image of robots is more formed by sci-fi movies than by real-world acquaintances. As an interaction designer Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino explores the relationship between robots and humans. At NEXT Berlin 2012 she shared her keen observations about how the development of robots changed – and how they changed us.

In order to let a robot become ‘intelligent’ and more human, we needed to learn to break ourselves down into components in order to figure out what makes us humans. In doing so, we also learned about our own nature and started to mirror our relationships – not just with other persons, but also with technology.

“How we manage our everyday life is sometimes very robotic: binary and digital”, Deschamps-Sonsino states, referring to the way we share personal data on Facebook and reduce complex social relationships to “yes” or “no”. Her keynote talk is full of examples like this, illustrating not just the accomplishments in the field of robotics, but also “how we are getting closer and closer to be robots ourselves – without necessarily realising it”.