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Emotional Machines:The Technological Transformation of Intimacy in Japan

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EMTECH project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EMTECH project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EMTECH" about.

cutting    robots    promises    purpose    emotions    inspiring    inform    theoretical    contributions    japan    implementing    scientific    homes    fundamentally    media    imaginaries    primary    signs    generating    conductance    elicit    create    models    employed    claim    capacities    cultural    human    theory    expanding    sciences    analyzes    intelligence    facial    intelligent    robot    artistic    home    machines    relationship    structures    consequently    intimacy    leveraging    register    hypothesis    affective    artificial    record    companion    tradition    collect    literary    engineering    public    expressions    ethnographic    humanities    mass    centers    emotionally    sustain    adoption    technologies    aesthetic    understand    emtech    raised    social    central    palliative    skin    relationships    robotics    textual    understandings    transforming    edge    yield    care    engineers    kinds    critique    played    emotional    rate    groundbreaking    designers    methodological    bonds    heart    ethical    argues    emotion    qualitative    domestic    privacy    forms    data    consciously    collection    interaction    laboratories    humans    works   

Project "EMTECH" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: BERLIN
postcode: 14195

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 1˙489˙919 €
 EC max contribution 1˙489˙919 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-08-01   to  2022-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    FREIE UNIVERSITAET BERLIN DE (BERLIN) coordinator 1˙489˙919.00


 Project objective

EMTECH analyzes the relationship between aesthetic works on human-robot interaction in Japan and cutting-edge advances in robotics and artificial intelligence. Its central hypothesis argues that a tradition of literary, artistic, and other media forms of cultural production on human-robot relationships particular to Japan is currently being built into emotionally-intelligent companion robots with the ability to understand, record, and elicit emotions in its users, consequently expanding the capacities for humans to create affective bonds with machines and transforming structures of intimacy that sustain traditional social institutions. In its most ambitious claim, EMTECH argues that this cultural tradition has played a primary role in inspiring the recently-emerging mass production of domestic robots with technology that can register and record facial expressions, heart rate, skin conductance, and other signs of affect not consciously recognized by humans, thus generating new kinds of scientific data on human affect that fundamentally challenges previous understandings of emotion. Through the textual analysis of literary work on robot imaginaries and ethnographic fieldwork on human-robot interaction in homes, palliative care centers, and engineering laboratories, EMTECH’s purpose is to collect qualitative data on new technologies of emotion management in order to advance literary and cultural theory’s contributions to the affective sciences, as well as to inform public discussions on issues of data collection, privacy, and other ethical concerns raised by the adoption of emotionally-intelligent robots in the home. Leveraging research in the humanities to critique emotional models employed by robotics engineers and designers, and implementing novel research methods such as the use of robots in both literary critique and ethnographic fieldwork, EMTECH promises to yield groundbreaking data of both theoretical and methodological application across the human sciences.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Daniel White
Contemplating the Robotic Embrace: Introspection for Affective Anthropology
published pages: 1-7, ISSN: , DOI:
More-than-Human Worlds: A NatureCulture Blog Series June 20, 2018 2019-06-06
2018 Daniel White
“Critique in the Gap.” Comment on Sasha Newell’s “The Affectiveness of Symbols:Materiality, Magicality, and the Limits of the Antisemiotic Turn.”
published pages: 18-19, ISSN: 0011-3204, DOI:
Current Anthropology Vol. 59, Issue 1 2019-06-06

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The information about "EMTECH" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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