Relational Machines OpenCourseWare: Free Graduate Level Course on Relational Machines by MIT

Published Jan 07, 2009

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A successful human-machine relationship can offer many social, educational and therapeutic benefits. Explore interactive technologies and the impacts they have on their users in 'Relational Machines,' a free OpenCourseWare from MIT. This graduate-level online course in Media Arts and Sciences is well suited for master's or doctoral students in psychology or computer science.

Relational Machines: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Graduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Relational Machines: Course Description

A relational machine is a device, such as a robot or a computer program, that can form a successful, ongoing interaction with its user. Modern technology offers a surprising number of human-machine relationships, from social games like virtual pets to robots that assist the elderly or disabled. In all of these interactions, the user approaches the machine as a peer, rather than simply a tool. When human-machine relationships are successful, they provide significant social and psychological benefits, and they can even enhance the user's performance. In 'Relational Machines,' from MIT's Media Arts and Sciences department, students will learn how these relationships are formed and what defines a beneficial human-machine relationship. The course will also explore how researchers can apply information from successful interactions to the development of new relational technologies. This graduate-level course is lecture-based, with a studio design component that offers students the opportunity to develop and test their own relational machines. 'Relational Machines' is taught by MIT professor Cynthia Breazeal.

Selected readings and lecture notes can be downloaded on the OpenCourseWare website, which also features examples of past student responses and final projects. If this free course material interests you, visit the relational machines course page.

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