Do robots dream of digitalized humans?: Three preliminary studies of robot, art, and literacy
9 am to 11 am (Korean & Japan time)
July 22, 2021 in the Connected Learning Summit 2021

Registration and participation fee is required.


Shin Mizukoshi: Professor of media studies, University of Tokyo, Japan 
Chang Geun Oh: Assistant Professor of media art, Gyeongin National University of Education, South Korea 
Seongsoo Baeg: Associate Professor of visual communications, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan 
Yutaka Iida: Associate Professor of media studies, Ritsumeikan University, Japan


Early in the 1960s, Marshall McLuhan claimed that the media was a device that extended human functions and sensations. The claim that television was the eyes, telephones were the ears, and cars were extended versions of the legs became a sensational topic in society at the time and was glared at by academia as suspicious.

More than half a century has passed since then, and robots are appearing in our daily lives. Some are used as substitutes for factory labourers, and others as substitutes for pets and children. According to McLuhan, robots can be said to be the ultimate medium. If so, robots, like other media, will need literacy education.

This session suggests the need for new robot literacy and provides a rough composition by examining three approaches: media art, popular culture studies, and workshop design.

There will be three short introductory presentations  between two mini-workshops.
How do the media influence our images of robots? In what ways do these images define real robots? How should we think about the future of robots and humans? With two experimental workshops, we want to address these issues of robot literacy and discuss them with all participants.

Participants will be asked to draw a picture during the workshop. Please bring a piece of paper and a pen or an app for drawing. These drawings will be uploaded to Jamboard and shared.

Session Structure:

  • Introduction: Outline (10 minutes)

  • Mini-workshop 1: Let's draw a robot!  (20 minutes)
  What do you think of when you hear the word "robot"? Participants will draw a picture, explain it and briefly introduce themselves. The sketch can be hand-drawn or digital.

  • Short-presentations: The history and present of robots (images) (40 minutes)
  •  Robots in media art (Oh: 12 minutes)
  • Oh will review the robotic creature by artists and inventors from Heron of Alexandria to Kinetic art and Robotic art in the 20th century.
  •  Hearts in Robot (Baeg: 12 minutes)
  • Baeg will analyse the robot images represented Sci-Fi fiction, films, manga, and animation since the early 20th century.
  •  Daily life and robot technology (Iida: 12 minutes)
  • Iida will provide a bird's eye view of robot technologies that have already become part of our daily lives, from Rumba and Siri to automated driving.

  • Mini-workshop 2: Group discussion on robots and the future of humanity (40 minutes)
 Based on the mini-workshop one and the three short introductory presentations, we will discuss and present the following topics in three groups and discuss them together.
 In this workshop, we will discuss robots with the following three points.
  • What did you notice?
  • What do you think the problem is?
  • What can we teach, and what can people learn?

  For group work, we use Google Jamboard. Participants upload their drawings of robots and are asked to use sticky notes and pens to discuss their images of robots and literacy. (20 minutes)
  • Group B: