International Workshop "Envision of Acceptable Human Agent Interaction based on Science Fiction" @ Oct. 6th Kyoto co-located with HAI 2019


We will call below Sci-Fi related workshop at International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction.

Title: Envision of Acceptable Human Agent Interaction based on Science Fiction


In this workshop, we will propose to use science fiction (SF) as, which has drawn science and technology and the process of acceptance in the society in the form of a story, influences the development of artificial intelligence. We want to propose a design method to the future society based on the recent possibilities and problems, and we hope to contribute to humankind about pioneering future technologies and societies. We will collect an example of what kind of relation between SF and technology are being discussed with several examples. We will extract ethical norms in the future society of the future by utilizing the imagination and range of SF.

Detail Explanation

The imagination comes from science fiction (SF) is an important component of our contemporary society for envisioning future vision of society. SF is influenced by science and technology and describes the influence of technology on the society, drama of people, and transformation of values with story. Impact of SF is large both in academic field and industrial field. For example, iRobot created by lab members of Rodney Brooks named their company with the base of Issac Asimov’s “I, robot.” Palmer Luckey who founded Oculus company for handling virtual reality technologies express influence from Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash”, Ernes Cline’s “Ready Player One”, and Reki Kawahara’s “Sword Art Online.” Academic societies like information science, mechanics, robotics, such as the Robotics Society of Japan, the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers, and Japanese Society of Artificial Intelligence, occasionally propose special issue for SF in their magazine. HCI community HCD-Net also created special interest group for SF movie.

The influence of SF in robotics and artificial intelligence field is remarkable. Various concepts ranging from Issac Asimov's three laws of robotics (Asimov 1970)(Mccauley and Hall 2007) to Verner Vinge's technical singularity (Vinge 1993) are proposed in the interaction of both regions. There are many researchers related into AI who declares the influence of SF, both in Japan and abroad. For example, Skynet appearing in the movie Terminator is referred as one of negative future vision of artificial intelligence in many studies (Mubin et al. 2016). Nature publishing organized a short novel on science fiction in “Nature” magazine since 2009. These novels help to make the image easier to understand among researchers and general readers among different disciplines. Microsoft ordered short novels to several SF writers based on the technology of their laboratory. The novels were organized as free anthology "Future Visions". In China, government actively supports the holding of international SF conferences etc. As a more positive example, we can see an example of directly drawing a future image by inviting science fiction writers as technical advisor. Science fiction writers such as Bruce Sterling and Cory Doctorow are involved in conferences and policy decisions of information technology. SF writer Satoshi Hase have been participated in the ethics committee of the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence, and is involved in the creation of ethical standards. An international conference based on design fiction (PRIMER https://primerconference.com/2018/) also have been held. In Japan, a group centered in RIKEN is trying to investigate the relationship between SF and society at the "Innovation Intelligence Integration Research Center", with science and technology and social team. For future design of autonomous intelligence, suggestions are also being made to use SF. For example, Iizuka et al. propose designing ethics guidelines for robots acting autonomously, based on the depiction of science fiction movies.

Science and technology researchers like SF. Therefore, the SFs they pick up are based on interests of science and technology personnel, and there is a risk that they will be neglected about the narrative logic inherent in SF and the context of the background social situation. While scenarios and images imagined by SF have the advantage of helping to draw out the future, there are also constraints imposed by being drawn as fiction. In addition, there are works in which the raising of social problems that existed in the background is important rather than the drawn technique. Due to recent rapid development of AI technology, the ethical problem caused by AI technology to society has been discussed as a practical problem in various places. As a result, it seems necessary to apply caution to applying classic science fiction ideas directly to the real-world problems. There are some criticisms on applying science fiction without the context of each era as a future image uncritically. For example, Jean-Gabriel Ganascia says that hype (false advertisement) on technology has occurred as a result of abuse for term technical singularity by Ray Kurzweil (Ganascia n.d.). A representational scholar, Jeniffer Robertson, raises a problem that the future image depicted by the Japanese government has inherited the classic SF's future social image uncritically, and as a consequence it is confirming sexistic images (Robertson 2011). As a result of scientific and technicians using science fiction images unscrupulously for scientific communication, it is necessary to pay attention to the possibility that deliverables will not be compatible with society.

  • Asimov, I. (1970). I , Robot. Science.
  • Ganascia, J.-G. (1955-. . . . ). (n.d.). Intelligence artificielle : vers une domination programmée ? https://www.amazon.com/Intelligence-Artificielle-Realite-et-Enjeux/dp/B01N2H25HO. Accessed 17 November 2018
  • Mccauley, L., & Hall, D. (2007). The Frankenstein Complex and Asimov’s Three Laws, 9–14.
  • Mubin, O., Billinghurst, M., Obaid, M., Jordan, P., Alves-Oliveria, P., Eriksson, T., et al. (2016). Towards an Agenda for Sci-Fi Inspired HCI Research. In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology - ACE2016 (pp. 1–6). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press. doi:10.1145/3001773.3001786
  • Robertson, J. (2011). Gendering Robots:Posthuman Traditionalism in Japan. In Recreating Japanese Men (pp. 277–303).
  • Vinge, V. (1993). The coming technological singularity: How to survive in the post-human era.

Submission format

You can submit your presentation on this link


We will welcome any kind of presentation for the workshop to inspiring our future vision on HAI.

  • Standard paper submissions (ACM template is recommended, but not limited to)
  • Video snippets
  • Demos
  • Illustrations
  • Comic and Manga representations
  • Novel

Any submissions other than standard paper submission also requires 1 page abstract for explaining their submission. We will briefly check the submission after the deadline. One of presenter need to register and attend to our workshop on HAI 2019.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Analysis of Robots/AIs/Interfaces in Science Fiction
  • Interaction Design inspired by Fictions
  • The role Sci-Fi on design and its societal impact
  • Design fiction
  • Evaluations methodology of Sci-Fi media to inspire interactive technologies
  • Ethical issues and implications
  • Discussion into taxonomies and classification of sci-fi technologies/media
  • Methodologies to evaluate sci-fi media


  • Sep. 6th (2019/9/6): Submission deadline
  • Sep. 13th: Notification for acceptance
  • Oct. 6th: Workshop


  • OSAWA Hirotaka (University of Tsukuba)
  • Omar MUBIN (West Sydney University)
  • Mohammad OBAID (UNSW Art and Design)
  • FUKUCHI Kentaro (Meiji University)

Program Members

  • SAIJO Reina (Kyoto University)
  • MIYAKE Yoichiro (Digital Games Research Association Japan)
  • HASE Satoshi (Writer, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Japan)
  • MIYAMOTO Dohjin (The University of Tokyo)

Invited talk

Thommy Eriksson (Chalmers University of Technology), Making friends – the fantasy of interacting with our creations

How can science fiction support the design of human agent interaction? Can science fiction be used to explore the ethics of future technology, specifically robots and artificial intelligence? First, we need to understand what science fiction is, and its inherent purpose. There is actually no final definition of what kind of genre science fiction is, or whether it really is a genre. Alternative views are that science fiction is a narrative strategy or a marketing device. What characterize science fiction is speculations and spectacle, often phrased as the question “what if?”. A novum, a new or foreign event, is introduced, creating estrangement, and resulting in the enfolding of the story itself. The inherent purpose of science fiction is to entertain, to reflect, and to critique. A common misconception is that science fiction tries to predict the future. That is seldom the purpose. More often the intent is to reflect and critique on the current state of society. Some but not all science fiction wants to tell a cautionary tale, warning of possible future threats, “if this goes on…”.

Taking this in consideration, we need to be careful when drawing conclusions from science fiction. There are many dangers in analyzing science fiction and trying to interpret its meaning. Science fiction is storytelling, and most stories need drama and conflict to work. Killer robots might not be an actual anticipation, rather they are an efficient way to create entertainment. Audiences are highly diverse. Geek culture and technology developers might overlap to great extent, creating the illusion that everyone knows the intricacies of robots and AI in science fiction and in reality. But outside of these sub-cultures the general public have very diffuse understanding of this. Investigating technology history can reveal some of the mechanisms between technology acceptance and science fiction. The enormous resources spent on human space flight in the 1960’s built on complete misunderstandings, both among the public at large and the policy makers. The smartphone might be related to the tricord, but the influence and the acceptance came from existing technology and marketing, not an awareness of Star Trek.

Therefore, I argue, we cannot use science fiction at face value to draw conclusion about users’ attitude towards autonomous agents. We have to re-purpose science fiction, and instead use it as a design laboratory, and to use it to introspectively analyze not the audience but the technology developers. We can ask ourselves profound questions. Are robots and AI complement or replacement? Does technology actually have agency, and in what way? Why does agents need gender?

Program (13:30-18:30)

  • 13:30-13:45 Hirotaka Osawa, Introduction
  • 13:45-14:00 Omar Mubin and Mohammad Obaid, Designing Human-Agent Interaction
  • 14:00-14:30 Tomoichi Takahashi, Educational Material for Artificial Intelligence and Novels Paper
  • 14:30-15:00 Eri Sasayama and Dohjin Miyamoto, Homo mangapiens, or the future that could be created by a
    combination of neuroscience, HAI and manga research Abstract
  • 15:00-15:30 Yuji Kawai, Tatsuhiko Inatani, Takako Yoshida, and Kazuya Matsuura, Exploring Future Rules for AIs with Citizens Paper
    using a Fictitious Case Video: A Workshop Report
  • 15:30-16:00 coffee break
  • 16:00-17:00 Invited talk by Dr. Thommy Eriksson, Making friends – the fantasy of interacting with our creations
  • 17:00-18:30 Discussion for future society on HAI
  • Additional Lab tour on Kyoto Institute of Technology (for all workshops 12:30-13:15)




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