Meet the blogger: Anna

Meet the blogger: Anna

When you think of Scotland, what might come to mind are certain mythical monsters, plaid patterns, pipes and drums, highland coos and lots of rolling green hills. While I definitely appreciate the sleepy charm of the higland coo, the main reason I moved to Glasgow was to investigate how people perceive robots and interact with them. Our everyday lives are becoming more and more intertwined with technology, AI and intelligent machines. Given this trend, it is important to understand the implications of living and working with artificial agents, such as robots.

 My first meeting with one of the famous coos in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

My first meeting with one of the famous coos in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Originally from the rainy and cold North of Germany, I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology to go on to explore the intricacies of neuroscience in beautiful Amsterdam. Towards the end of my Master’s degree in the Netherlands, I was looking for a new challenge and became very interested in the underlying neural mechanisms of social interactions. Serendipitously, I came across the fascinating Social Robots project, which first led me to move to the North of Wales, and finally in April of this year, to Glasgow (again, finding myself in the rain and cold).

 I don’t remember if he was playing ‘Scotland the Brave’, but chances are high!

I don’t remember if he was playing ‘Scotland the Brave’, but chances are high!

The day I arrived, I attempted to order a coffee at a local bakery and spectacularly failed trying to understand the Scottish accent of the saleslady behind the counter. Despite initial struggles with understanding the local dialect, I have come to love this city and the old walls and cloisters of the University. When wandering around the West End, you can find Michelin-star food, enchanting hole-in-the-wall bookstores and you might even stumble into a pub at the end of an evening, discovering a gathering of musicians jamming together on accordions, guitars, flutes, fiddles and bagpipes.

 The Offshore on a cold winter evening.

The Offshore on a cold winter evening.

One of my favourite places in Glasgow is the Offshore café, with its student atmosphere, people quietly scribbling in notebooks, typing away on laptops, all the while a nice little tune is playing in the background and the smell of freshly ground coffee is hanging in the air.

You’ll see me there on a bleak, wintery afternoon (a typical “dreich” day), reading anything and everything, from science fiction, graphic novels and poetry, to feminist manifestos. The vibrant and diverse cultural scene in Glasgow is one of the perks of living here, and I have yet to explore all of the wonderful museums and little cinemas perched in various corners of this city. If you are now curious about my ongoing projects at the University and my research, you can find me online via my personal website and on Twitter. Or, you can, of course, wait for one of my upcoming posts on this blog!

Picture credit: Elena Giacomazzi (title photo) & Anna Henschel

Hello from Ann, one of the new PGR Bloggers

Hello from Ann, one of the new PGR Bloggers

Meet the blogger: Steph

Meet the blogger: Steph