Ben Alderson-Day
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The Presence Robot
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We can probably find an explanation for anything, and we do not always get the chance to test our explanations. To do that, we would have to somehow create a presence. In this chapter, the author describes how Olaf Blanke and colleagues offered a more detailed model for how this process works for presence with the help of a robot. The author concludes that our brains might create a bodily self – but that body has to exist in space. Some spaces will make our bodies grow or shrink, contract or relax. Where we draw the line, where we distinguish ourselves from others, these things will shift with the space we are in. The presences we encounter might be familiar companions, or unsettling doppelgängers, or just neutral entities, but the conditions around us have to be right for them to appear at all.

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