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Frame, Game, and Circuit: Truth and the Human in Japanese Human-machine Interface Research

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posted on 2022-08-19, 03:03 authored by Grant Otsuki
This essay tracks the ‘human’ emergent in human-centred technologies (HCTs) in Japan. A primary aim of HCTs is to extract the true intention of the user and actualise it as machine action. Beyond this, HCT researchers maintained that creating such technologies would give them access to the truth of the human itself. In this essay, I examine the games of truth played in HCT, in which teachers exercise authority over students by defining their true intentions for them, and students learned what they needed to become good researchers. I then show how through analogical relations, human subjects with esteemed qualities became what HCTs must be, and HCTs a means for imagining what human beings truly are. What emerged were truths that transcended human and machine: all are systems of information and, in the end, the right machine can approach humanity enough to fulfil even the most human of responsibilities.

Funding

The Human is a Cybernetic Communication System: A Historical and Ethnographic Study of Human-Technology Interactions in Japanese Wearable and Robotic Technologies | Funder: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science | Grant ID: 16K16962

History

Preferred citation

Otsuki, G. J. (2021). Frame, Game, and Circuit: Truth and the Human in Japanese Human-machine Interface Research. Ethnos, 86(4), 712-729. https://doi.org/10.1080/00141844.2019.1686047

Journal title

Ethnos

Volume

86

Issue

4

Publication date

2021-01-01

Pagination

712-729

Publisher

Informa UK Limited

Publication status

Published

Online publication date

2019-10-29

ISSN

0014-1844

eISSN

1469-588X

Language

en

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