Social robotics and HRI are in need of a unified and differentiated theoretical framework where, relative to interaction context, robotic properties can be related to types of human experiences and interactive dispositions. The aim of this paper is to contribute to this task by providing new descriptive tools. In social robotics and HRI it is commonly assumed that social interactions with robots are due to ‘anthropomorphizing’. We challenge this assumption and argue, on conceptual and empirical grounds, that social interactions with robots are not always the result of anthropomorphizing, i.e., the projection of imaginary or fictional human social capacities, but of sociomorphing, i.e., the perception of actual non-human social capacities. Sociomorphing can take many forms which phenomenally manifest themselves in various types of experienced sociality. We very briefly sketch core elements of the descriptive framework OASIS (the Ontology of Asymmetric Social Interactions) in order to show how one might develop a classificatory system for types of experienced sociality.
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