In 2019, Ayaka Fujii, a researcher in mechano-informatics, developed a system for “co-eating” with a robot. Stemming from research into persuasive technology, the system extends a whole series of experiments in which mealtime is made into a moment of exchange, even if only in one’s imagination. Over the past decade in Japan, a country that has a high rate of unmarried adults, “digital commensality” has become a very active area of research. It allows people who are alone to “share” meals on-screen with other people, artificial creatures, or robots. Why would we trust and rely on such tools? Why, especially, are illusions treated as “solutions”?
- persuasive technology