E-Guest Lecture : Alfonsina Scarinzi

Enacting the Pleasurable Feeling of Experience: Skillful Sensemaking in Human-Robot-Interaction (HRI)

05.11.2020 - 05.11.2020

Dr. Alfonsina Scarinzi, ZESS Georg –August University of Göttingen , est actuellement fellow-in-residence à CY AS, invité du laboratoire BONHEURS

“The so-called meaning generated through sense making is […] neither a feature of the external environment nor something internal to the agent.” With these words, Daniel Hutto und Erik Myin describe the notion of sense-making – the enaction of a meaningful world by autonomous systems – in their work Evolving Enactivism. Basic Minds Meet Content.  In enactive cognitive science (Varela & Thompson & Rosch, 1991) – the anti-Cartesian approach to human experience – bodily sense-making is the feel of the cognitive-emotional qualitative dimension of an adaptation to environmental factors the organism interacts with and has a participatory character in social interaction.

Recent studies in neuroscience and philosophy of mind (Fuchs 2018) highlight the role of the subjective and intersubjective embodied evaluation of sense-making in experiencing the bodily conditions of meaning constitution in our sensorimotor engagement with the world. Accordingly, cognition is embodied action: movements are the tools of the subject’s cognition (Scarinzi, 2020). Studying how the perceiver can guide her action in her local situation means to study how the perceiver brings forth her meaningful world and how the perceiver through social interaction subordinated to movements co-creates shared meaning.

Against this background, in my talk I will consider a scenario of interaction in which the subject is confronted with a defamiliarized familiar environment and get the task of learning something new. The defamiliarization technique allows the subject to see new meanings in interactions. It is argued that the passage from unusual disturbing experience to the realization of the capacity of the agent’s new experience to mean gives rise to a positive pleasurable feeling of the interaction itself. As robots are becoming more and more relevant in education, the defamiliarized scenario that will be taken into account is the one in which a social robot – the iCub robot (Vignolo et al. 2019) – teaches a human partner new sensorimotor skills. Does the human agent tend to manifest a positive pleasurable feeling of the interaction itself when the movements of the social robot in the teaching process become familiar or when the human learner realizes that the learning of new sensorimotor skills is successful? The aim is not to discuss whether the learner learns effectively. Rather, the aim is to suggest criteria for showing how interaction changes when the human learner accepts and enjoys the robot teacher.


Some references

  • Fuchs, Thomas (2018): Ecology of The Brain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hutto, Daniel & Myin, Erik (2017): Evolving Enactivism. Basic Minds Meet Content. MIT Press.
  • Scarinzi, Alfonsina (2020): Enactively Conscious Robots: Why Enactivism Does Not Commit the Intermediate Level Fallacy. Ro-Man 2020 - The 29th IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, Naples Italy, from August 31 to September 4, 2020, pp. 1-6 (The conference took place as a virtual conference only)
  • Varela, Francisco/Thompson, Evan/Rosch, Eleanor (1991): The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.
  • Vignolo, Alessia/Powell, Henry/McEllin, Luke/Rea, Francesco/Sciutti, Alessandra/Michael, John (2019): An Adaptive Robot Teacher Boosts a Human Partner’s Learning Performance in Joint Action. In: The 28th IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (ROM-AN), New Delhi, India, S. 1 – 7.


Date : 5 novembre 2020 de 12h30 à 14h00

Télécharger Slides

La vidéo est en ligne sur la chaîne CY AS YouTube