Sozionik: quality of life through social high-tech?

Socionics against the fear of technology: acting in socio-technical systems

Not everyone is convinced that the high-tech that surrounds us more and more makes our lives easier. The 50+ generation in particular cannot always keep up with technological innovations. As artificial intelligence (agents, robots, UbiComp) is no longer just used in cyberspace, but also in the human social environment, socionics has had to artfully mimic the social system in a meaningful way. Germany leads the way in socionics research. Their mastermind Thomas Malsch creates tension in the research field between sociology and artificial intelligence.

The impact of sociology on the public has long been very marginal. They prefer to sab in their incestuous ivory tower of abstract theory production. Questions about technology development and society mutated into metaphysical glass bead games. Tandem projects together with engineering disciplines were missing. Artificial intelligence research was also a scientific outsider. Although her godfather, Rodney Brooks, gave her a serious air, a magical aura surrounded her. Their alliance with socionics, as an innovative field of research between sociology and artificial intelligence, gave new contours to our high-tech infrastructure. They take up models from the social world in order to develop intelligent technologies from them. The interdisciplinary objective is to explore the application potential of artificial sociality and to develop the basis for socionic technology development.

This connection was imperative in order to be able to react adequately to the social and technical changes. Future applications of hybrid systems composed of agents and humans pose a particular challenge to society. In our 21st century world. In the 21st century, there are now hardly any activities that are not influenced by intelligent technology. The modelability of social systems in artificial intelligence systems became more and more urgent since the 1990s. Although Michael Muller, economic senator of the Federal Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and managing director of the Neuss-based a o group, there is no relaxed attitude toward technological progress in Germany, despite high-tech trade fairs such as CeBIT or initiatives such as the IT Year 2006. Technological fear mongers cling to outdated cultural images that are out of touch with the 21st century world. How much technology we want to have nothing more to do with the 21st century.

Socionics has ushered in and is constantly modifying the ara of hybrid interaction systems in which intelligent technology and humans cooperate with each other. And rightly so, because a study by YouGov shows that when buying technical devices, 34% make their purchase decision based on the design of the technology (price: 33%). Against this background, the following questions are central to the further development of the technical and social hybrid system: How much technology and what kind of technology does society want to use??

Social world and high tech: a hybrid socionics

The technical high-tech infrastructure surrounding us is more and more the mortel of our society. Ubiquitous computing (UbiComp) determines our everyday life always and everywhere. RFID technology (radio frequency identification chip technology) is being used more and more in the automotive industry, for example. A car today is autonomous and intelligent in many ways. We will no longer control the braking process alone, but assistance systems will help to bring the car to a halt. Professor Bernd Scholz-Reiter of the University of Bremen says that although RFID is not yet very familiar to the public, it will play a major role in shaping how we interact in the future. In the future, chips in the vehicle’s key will automatically adjust the mirror, the seat height or the air conditioning according to the driver’s wishes. Even robot butlers, as artificial servants, are failing less and less in their use in the everyday world. They take over tasks that were previously reserved for humans.

The ultimate goal was/is to build robots that are capable of communicating with humans. Multi-agent systems act on our behalf on the Internet. In recent years, they have become our personal assistants and brokers. Once the agents have received an order, they carry it out completely autonomously. The online marketplace OneTwoSold.de relies totally on multi-agent systems. The company offers a marketplace for customers to trade goods in the web space. The clou is that here not something is explained to the customer first and then he is left alone again with the actual conversion. The virtual sales assistant supports the salesmen and works according to the motto learning by doing, underlines the OneTwoSold.de spokeswoman Elke Markus the advantages of her AI.

All these are results of socionetic research. It works(s) in two directions: On the one hand, it tries to make sociology useful as a basic science for computer science. On the other hand software programs are aimed, from which conclusions for the sociology result. Technical algorithms for the parallel processing of relatively complex actions of AI are programmed along the lines of social systems. The resulting technical interaction generates the technical social system.

In 2006, the Taucis online study conducted by the Institute for Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University confirmed the importance of the usability of intelligent systems. Nearly 5000 Internet users clicked through the online survey, which focused on how UbiComp must be built to be human-friendly. The study on technology assessment shows: Young people up to 29 years of age and seniors over 60 years of age perceive the UbiComp services described in the survey as useful, but: the positive assessment depends on the degree of control a user has over the technology. They are passive and indecisive about it, but with a cautiously positive underlying tendency, according to one of the study’s main findings. The online survey proves that it is precisely the hype in communication technologies that has triggered the need to humanize AI systems and robots. Intelligent systems are being given more and more human-like social behavior, as interactive communication between humans and AI has become a hallmark of our time.

High-tech future and interaction

The real world is merging with the artificial world. Not only in cyberspace, but also in our living rooms. Powerful UbiComp and robotics programs based on the principles of cooperative, negotiable and social intelligence are being programmed to perfect the interaction between social and technical systems. The technology of ubiquitous computing is expected to support us more at home in the future. The computerized household activates the alarm clock, the coffee machine, turns on our favorite music or displays individual messages.

A high-tech application for cell phones was recently presented by mobile giant NTTDoCoMo at the Ceatec electronics fair. Smart cell phone enables control of miniature robots. A robot squad in the home can be controlled from the road, which also sounds the alarm in the event of a break-in. The Heinz Nixdorf Forum (HNF) shows the future of intelligent living. The refrigerator monitors its own contents and creates a shopping list according to the user’s habits. Kenichi Kameyama, a researcher at Toshiba’s human-centric lab, developed a wristwatch-sized sleep sensor. AI sensor determines sleep stages by sensing pulse and stores them. The researcher is thinking of networking the sleep sensor with household appliances. Lights or air conditioners could then be regulated accordingly.

Masahiko Tsukamoto made the Head Mounted Displays very popular in the Japanese public. In an interview he explained why he always wears his mini-screen in front of his eye. Tsukamoto goes to the dentist almost every week. Not because he is in pain, but because he has a vision of how to make wearable computers more user-friendly. When the dentist rusts out his devices with a camera, the patient himself sees into his oral cavity. A few pre-programmed messages, a voice generator with a loudspeaker, and the dentist can interpret the wishes of his patient. The Japanese is convinced that wearable computers will provide more comfort and safety in hectic everyday life. Intelligent systems will be given more and more human-like social behavior, because the interactive communication between humans and AI accentuates our lives in a new way.

Society-friendly high-tech robots

The complexity-oriented turn of AI research and its alliance with sociology created a seemingly paradoxical result: the focus is no longer on copying human action as comprehensively as possible, but on reducing it. manageable subunits are built up via multi-agent systems. Agents and robots are actually becoming more intelligent as robotics and AI researchers program machines that have a high degree of autonomy and generate autonomous behaviors.

ASIMO or AIBO are already old acquaintances, but they show that humanoid robots are not distinguished by their relatively natural appearance, but by their ability to interact. Honda’s ASIMO understands 50 different shouts, pits and questions as well as 30 different commands and reacts accordingly. Sony’s AIBO can address human emotions in a targeted manner. The robot dog behaves like a real dog and is supposed to convey affection and tenderness, especially to elderly people. At the Japanese consumer electronics fair Ceatec, the prototype of a robot rabbit from Hitachi was presented. It puts on its bobble when at rest, otherwise it signals its attention with the blink of an eye. The futuristic mascot is to make itself indispensable in our living room, for example by sorting our video collection. The high-tech long-eared character can record, interpret and modify programming requests for a video recorder as voice commands.

The AI developments and offers are not only intended for high-tech freaks. Our rapidly aging society creates new needs. Japan has high hopes for AI machines. The birth rate of 1.3 is one of the lowest in the world, but at the same time Nippon has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. For the Japanese government, it is obvious to develop interactive robots that can work closely with humans. The future care of the elderly is to be secured by it. Since Japan has traditionally been one of the most technophile nations, there is little fear of contact.

Sud Korea is taking a similar approach: by 2020, every household will have at least one robot. Korea relies on intelligent but inexpensive network robots. Sud Korea has the highest Internet density in the world; 12 out of 15 million people are connected to the Internet. Households have broadband access. The Ministry of Information and Communication therefore calls for the development of network-based robots that can use cyberspace. The interaction of cyberspace – robot – human being should ensure the prerequisite for the mechanized management of households.

The International Federation of Robotics counted in 2004 to the two million existing robots worldwide. It projects an additional seven million in 2008. Although this figure includes industrial robots, it nevertheless shows the unstoppable trend toward human-AI interaction. Despite existing problems (e.g. B. spatial perception) it works better than ever before. Their common knowledge about social behavior is the basis for programming today’s AI.

Electronic nurses and AI service plans through socionics

Our social future is technically determined, but demographically outdated. That’s why it’s not just tech-savvy Asians who are betting on AI-human interaction in everyday life. The Domane hospital system provides the basis for exploring social mechanisms in complex organizations. The EU recently launched the IWARD project (Intelligent robot swarm for attendance, recognition, cleaning and delivery), led by the German Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering. Thomas Schlegel, a scientist at the IAO and coordinator of the project, explains that hospital staff are often overworked and robots could therefore be of help. Ten research teams from eight countries are collaborating on this EU project.

The innovative feature is decentralized intelligence: swarms of robots act autonomously, but at the same time are in permanent contact with each other. When needed, they find the doctor, call nurses, keep hospital rooms clean and drive visitors. The mobile helpers detect when a patient has fallen, for example, and alert the nurses. Diemo Urbig is a computer scientist at the Chair of Artificial Intelligence at the Humboldt University in Berlin and is convinced that, "that many complex problems cannot be solved by individual intelligence, but only by social intelligence". He is working with sociologists from the Center for Technology and Society at the Technical University of Berlin on a multi-agent system that negotiates the individual shifts in the duty rosters of hospital workers. The background: In a hospital like the Charite, rostering by humans is extremely difficult.

The [email protected] test bed was developed to better coordinate duty changes and shift swaps. It should enable conclusions to be drawn with regard to clinical planning. The AI is equipped with different roles and strategies for action. The TU sociologists conducted field research in the hospital. The social types they diagnose exhibit different patterns of behavior. The family man is less willing to compromise than the pleasure seeker, who wants to make a lot of money with as little time as possible. According to these social types the agents were modeled. The agents not only have a character, they can also take into account the character of the test participants. This helps the AI to decide whom it should address first in the case of a desired change of layer.

Tamagotchis, software agents, robots Co are the successful fields of application of modern artistic intelligence. The intensified interaction between man and machine created the need for the technical system to be linked to the social system. Sociology and AI research prove in concrete coexistence that these social conditions of the 21st century are not the only ones. The new technology can be adapted to the needs of the 21st century through scientific reorientation. The AI researchers gain an understanding of how the social system works through sociological theory. This in turn leads to more adequate AI programs of our high-tech infrastructure.

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