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Recognition, collaboration and community: science fiction representations of robot carers in Robot & Frank, Big Hero 6 and Humans.

Teo, Y., 2020. Recognition, collaboration and community: science fiction representations of robot carers in Robot & Frank, Big Hero 6 and Humans. Medical Humanities. (In Press)

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Official URL: https://mh.bmj.com/

DOI: 10.1136/medhum-2019-011744

Abstract

In the 2010s, a small number of science fiction films and television series exploring the theme of the robot carer and how humans respond to them were released. This paper explores three works in this regard: the films Robot & Frank (dir. Jake Schreier, USA 2012), Big Hero 6 (dir. Don Hall/Chris Williams, USA 2014), and the television series Humans (UK/USA, Channel 4/AMC, 2015-2018). Examining these works with some of the ethical issues currently being discussed in the use of robot technology in care work, this paper demonstrates how they align themselves with, but also challenge some of these ideas, and ultimately direct viewers to consider their own expectations of personalised healthcare. The essay begins by examining the fears of the care industry deploying robots to replace the work of human carers, followed by a discussion of the effectiveness of robots as carers as depicted in these fictional representations, and the final section considers the social environment that these robot carers are situated in, and how the robots become a reflection of human lives and a repository of memories of affective relations. These texts suggest alternate ways of thinking about human-robot interactions (HRI) and care work, advocating for a more mutually dependent and reciprocal working relationship that might lead to a better quality of care.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1468-215X
Uncontrolled Keywords:care of the elderly; medical humanities; film; television; dementia
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:33607
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:05 Mar 2020 14:05
Last Modified:06 Oct 2020 12:18

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