The LinkLab

The LinkLab is a hub for the science of human intersections with social machines, from physically embodied robots to digitally embodied videogame characters.

Our research is motivated by questions that arise when we imagine a hybrid societies—social spheres where humans and machines co-exist and make meaning together in the course of everyday life. That means we consider the ways that machines will be more than tools and conduits, but instead might be understood as authentic social actors with capacities to be independently intentional, moral, and communicative. We explore these questions across various contexts, from the purely social (how might humans and robots experience recreation together?) to practical contexts like education, health, journalism, and workspaces. This work draws from various theoretical traditions—communication science, media psychology, social and moral psychology, STS, network theories, and more—and relies on combinations of inductive and deductive methods that best fit the challenging questions at hand.

The lab is directed by Dr. Jaime Banks. For more information, please reach out at