3rd International Conference

Digital Culture & AudioVisual Challenges

Interdisciplinary Creativity in Arts and Technology

Online, May 28-29, 2021

Social Media
Prosocial behaviours exhibited by humans and machines within physical and virtual space
Date and Time: 28/05/2021 (10:05-11:45)
Penny Papageorgopoulou, Chris Tarantilis, Iouliani Theona, Dimitrios Charitos

Humans’ positive development allows for the demonstration of prosocial behaviours from an early age, through helping, cooperating and sharing with others, often as a result of sympathy or empathy. These behaviours, being proactive, reactive or altruistic lead to harmonious human-to-human relationships facilitated by social bond formation. Machines are increasingly attributed social identities by their users, as they elicit social behaviours from humans, especially when they exhibit anthropomorphic or zoomorphic characteristics. However, the barriers between human and technology have started to significantly blur, as one permeates the other and both become entities of blended ontology, forming relationships of hybrid nature. Furthermore, the coronovirus pandemic outbreak has led to more frequent and tighter communication between the two parts, simultaneously confined to the physical (household and work) space and expanded to virtual space. In this paper, we investigate the twofold aspect of the pandemic conditioning of the human-machine communication patterns and more specifically:
(a) the prosocial behaviour mutually exhibited by humans and machines as drawn by their everyday communication and as previously presented in the sci-fi cinematic paradigm. While traditional human relationships disintegrate, their communication mechanisms and norms partially regulate the new, hybrid ones emerging between humans and their technological companions, as they develop faster than ever before.
(b) the role of space (physical and virtual) in the development of these kind of behaviours. The hybrid relationships are evolving in a hybrid space, significantly restricted in the physical space, leading to the constant encounter between the two parts; at the same time the entities of these diverse, yet blended entities coexist in expanding virtual spaces, which not only foster but heavily mediate their communication.
Physical space also fosters physical interaction, which, in human-to-human relationships is largely translated through automatic mimicry and often, emotional contagion. Therefore, we investigate the possibilities of emotional contagion between human and machines, as well as the possibilities emerging from this interaction at the virtual space.


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