The inclusive potential of smart ambient environments for people with autism

As part of the cycle of lectures by new researchers at the Institute of Social Sciences, dr Janko Nešić, a Research Associate from the Centre for Philosophy, held a lecture on September 29, 2023 in the Great Hall of the Institute of Social Sciences on the topic „The inclusive potential of smart ambient environments for people with autism”.

The lecture was devoted to an integral theoretical framework for understanding autism – “skilled intentionality”, as it combines enactive and ecological approaches to cognition together with the principle of free energy and predictive processing. Firstly, in the introductory part of the lecture, it was stated that autism is today understood as a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties in social interactions and communication, as well as the presence of repetitive actions and behavioral stereotypes, with recently added but very significant sensory disorders.

During the lecture, it was emphasized that the ecological-enactive description of autism indicates that these people have a different field of affordances than neurotypical people. This proves to be a good starting point for therapeutic matching between neurotypical and autistic groups of people.

By analyzing the ecological-enactive description of autism, we tried to show how one way of shaping the field of affordances of people with autism can be helpful in alleviating difficulties from the socio-material environment by using ambient smart environments, i.e. environments imbued with smart technology.

Following the experiences of people with autism themselves in how they build their ecological niches, it is highlighted how ambient smart environments can contribute. These interactive environments learn about user behavior patterns and create appropriate strategies in response to those behaviors. Based on empirical research, it was concluded that ambient smart environments that know the uniqueness of each person with autism enable a better harmonization of the requirements of such a person with a neurotypical environment.

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Јавни конкурс за попуњавање радног места – директор Института друштвених наука

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30. 11. 2022.

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