Human interactions with human-like Computer-Generated Others (CGOs) have continued to become more prevalent in the rush to technologize societies. As such, the need for close analysis of mediative dynamics between humans and CGOs has become compelling. Relying on the theoretical framework of embodied enactive cognition, this paper will discuss designing human empathetic experiences of co-presence with CGOs. We propose a two-level idea of enactive simulation: the assumption of the first-order simulation (human simulating other) is built on the holistic assumption that humans understand others thanks to shared physical embodiment and enactive situatedness, while second-order simulation (designer simulating human simulating other) is the cognitive-affective means of the designer of human–machine encounters to apply their own first-order experiences to simulate the simulation of the Experiencer. Our key assumption is that context is the defining component of co-presence, thereby allowing experimental situations of co-presence to be contextualized by means of mediated narratives. The case study experiment, Booth, designed to model affective-cognitive experiences of co-presence at encounters of human Experiencers with two artificial asylum seekers, allowed us to identify different factors of the dynamics influencing the experience of empathy and the ensuing decisions concerning asylum, in particular, the contextualizing narrative.

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