Projecto Financiado Nacional

O Self Interactivo – da Auto-Consciência à Interacções Sociais em Humanos e Agentes Artificiais (INTERSELF)

The Interacting Self - from Self-consciousness to Social interactions in Humans and Artificial Agents (INTERSELF)

Investigador Principal
Anna Ciaunica \ GI2 - Filosofia das Ciências Naturais

2021 - 2024

Grupo(s) de Investigação: GI2 - Filosofia das Ciências Naturais

Descrição do Projecto

The INTERSELF project examines the effects of social interactions with human and artificial agents on our sense of self and self-identity. We aim to show that contrasting self-consciousness and socialness in human-human agents interacting dyads, compared with human-artificial agent dyads, may help us to unveil core features of our human nature and its fundamental building blocks.
Self-consciousness – the ability to experience and identify oneself as an individual, distinct from the world and others – is a key feature of human minds. Yet, humans are not static, isolated individual islands, but rather are dynamic social beings designed to constantly move and interact with others. As new-borns we cannot survive without at least one dedicated caregiver. Throughout our life we constantly compete, cooperate and interact with each other, in the building of our culture.
Humans have also long tried to make artificial versions of themselves. The past decades have seen a significant increase in the development and implementation of artificial agents such as robots, virtual reality characters and artificial personal assistants (e.g. Siri, Alexa). We spontaneously attribute intentionality and socialness to these agents. For example, we erupt in anger at our computer crashing while we are booking the last free slot for home delivery grocery during a pandemic. We make friends or initiate relationships with virtual characters in computer games or in virtual reality settings. We make fun of artificial personal assistants like Siri or Alexa if they misinterpret our commands. We become attached to fluffy social robots and experience loss when they are broken.
Despite the ubiquitous presence of these new forms of interactions and their increasing impact on our lives, little is known about how these emergent types of socializing affect our self-consciousness, self-identity and sense of self. The INTERSELF project tackles this timely and neglected issue and brings together an interdisciplinary team of world-leading experts and rising young researchers in philosophy and neuroscience. Specifically, we will examine the contrast between socially interacting with Human versus Artificial Agents, and its impact on our sense of self and self-identity.
While philosophers and scientists across many traditions and disciplines have made great strides in uncovering the nature and mechanisms of selfhood and social interactions, within contemporary philosophy of mind and social neuroscience there has been a lack of theoretically integrative frameworks capturing the relationship and contrast between self-consciousness and socialness in human and artificial agents.
The INTERSELF project is designed to fill this gap – by bridging disciplines and using innovative tools – leading thereby to a new understanding of how social interactions with human and artificial agents impact our sense of self.
Ultimately, we will demonstrate that the further we advance in the goal of making, understanding and interacting with Artificial Others, the more we will learn about the essence of the Human Self.

Instituição de Acolhimento



FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Financiamento atribuído: 247.788 eur
Duração do Financiamento: 36 meses

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