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Bertram Malle


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Bertram F. Malle is Professor of Psychology in the Dept. of Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences at Brown University. He was born and educated in Graz, Austria, before coming to the United States in 1990. He received his Ph.D. at Stanford University in 1995 and joined the University of Oregon Psychology Department. Since 2008 he has been a Professor at the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University. He received the Society of Experimental Social Psychology Outstanding Dissertation award in 1995, won a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award in 1997, and served as president of the Society of Philosophy and Psychology. Malle’s research has been funded by the NSF, U.S. Army, Templeton Foundation, and Office of Naval Research. He has published over 80 articles and several books, including Intentions and intentionality: Foundations of Social Cognition (with L. J. Moses and D. A. Baldwin, eds.), MIT Press, 2001; How the Mind Explains Behavior: Folk Explanations, Meaning, and Social Interaction, MIT Press, 2004; and Other minds: How humans bridge the divide between self and other (with S. D. Hodges, eds.); New York: Guilford Press, 2005.



The mechanical arm

What should a robot nurse do when a cancer patient begs for more morphine but the supervising doctor is not available to approve the request? Should a self-driving car prevent its owner from taking over manual driving when she is drunk but urgently needs to get her child to the hospital? Which faintly crying voice from the earthquake rubble should a rescue robot follow – the child’s or the older adult’s?