Nukabot: Design of Care for Human-Microbe Relationships

Dominique Chen, Young Ah Seong, Hiraku Ogura, Yuto Mitani, Naoto Sekiya, Kiichi Moriya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Human-computer interaction (HCI) researchers have explored designs that connect humans and non-human beings based on post-humanistic discussions on speculative ethics of care regarding more-than-human worlds. Following these empirical and theoretical frameworks, this paper explores the potential of HCI design to foster human affective emotion toward fermentative microbes. We present the design process for the Nukabot, which is a technologically enhanced traditional Japanese wooden bucket used to pickle vegetables using lactic acid bacteria; the Nukabot is able to have conversations with humans via voice interaction. We describe the ethnographic accounts of six participants who spent 10 days taking care of, talking to, and being addressed by the Nukabot. We analyze their experiences through three ethopoietic elements of care: maintenance, affection, and obligation. Finally, we discuss the design implications of the Nukabot and its contributions to HCI research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExtended Abstracts of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2021
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380959
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 8
Event2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Making Waves, Combining Strengths, CHI EA 2021 - Virtual, Online, Japan
Duration: 2021 May 82021 May 13

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

Conference2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Making Waves, Combining Strengths, CHI EA 2021
Country/TerritoryJapan
CityVirtual, Online
Period21/5/821/5/13

Keywords

  • affective relationship
  • care
  • fermented food
  • microbes
  • more than human

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software

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