Synthetic emotions

Sunday 18 Sept @ 11:55

Synthetic emotions


The next decade will bring a diversity of love partners for us to choose from – lovebots with intelligent skin, cyborgs with sensory implants, tele-dildonic connected avatars, through to empathetic personal carers loving you day and night. There will be intense debate on the ethical issues that emerge.

As human cyborgs appear more often in our communities, as our friends bring robot lovers to dinner, as touch, caress and gaze technology converge, we will see virtual reality, augmented reality and holograms deepening and intensifying our virtual-physical immersive experiences.

This expert panel will debate this looping of our senses and emotions with these ‘non-human humans’.

Are we creating love, one of the most universal of all human needs, through these new attachments? Are they truly fulfilling? How will these burgeoning relationships impact the concept of ‘the lover’ as we know it today? Can we adjust to and fully accept the evolution of pure concepts of love into what could be called “synthetic emotions”? How is this trend already affecting our social abilities in the real world? How do we analyse social demographics when our neighbours and friends are human, cyborg and avatar? Will the psychologies of multiple identities and complex power-play cause total chaos?

Join us for a debate with:

Chair: Luke Robert Mason, Director, Virtual Futures


  • Trudy Barber, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader, Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth
  • Marco Donnarumma, Marco Donnarumma, performance artist and research fellow, Universität der Künste Berlin
  • Anna Troisi, Digital artist and researcher