1st Edition

The Naked Android Synthetic Socialness and the Human Gaze

By Julie Carpenter Copyright 2025
    320 Pages 8 Color & 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    320 Pages 8 Color & 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    The Naked Android: Synthetic Socialness and the Human Gaze illuminates the connection between the stories people tell, their expectations of what a robot is, and how these beliefs and values manifest in how real robots are designed and used. 


    The introduction of the “human gaze” articulates how peoples’ expectations and perceptions about robots are ultimately based on deeply personal cultural interpretations of what is artificial or human and what problems social robots should –or should not –solve.  “The Naked Android” clarifies how human qualities like understanding and desire are designed into robots as mediums as well as projected onto them by the people who live with them.


    Using ethnographic methods including in-depth interviews with a variety of stakeholders, each chapter explores how people are designing social robots, the experience of living with robots, and people whose jobs it is to dream about a future integrated with robots.


    Key Features:

    • Introduces the concept of the “human gaze” (and the “robot gaze”) as means of understanding how people live with robots
    • Each chapter includes in-depth interviews with people who make, live with, or create art about robots.
    • Using ethnographic methods, paints a vivid description of the interconnecting influences of science fiction, human imagination, and real technology


    Chapter 01 Welcome home, robots

    Chapter 02 Robots in the family

    Chapter 03 AI, robots, and the gaze of gods

    Chapter 04 Science fiction robots as metaphors, muses, and allies

    Chapter 05 Promises of sex robots

    Chapter 06 The object of a robot gaze



    Julie Carpenter is a social scientist that explores human behaviours with emerging technologies, often forms of AI. A great deal of her research has focused on human attachment to robots and other forms of artificial intelligence. She is an external research fellow in the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group at California Polytechnic State University and has held this role since 2015.