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Be Wary of Robot Emotions


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Petting the social robot Jibo.

Humans often anthropomorphize robots.

Credit: Steven Senne/AP

Despite the fact that robots are not alive, humans often anthropomorphize them, which designers concede can be exploited for both connection and manipulation.

The way robots are designed can shape this tendency, especially if their face or body resembles those of humans or animals, or if they appear self-directed.

Accenture's Julie Carpenter said, "Even if you know a robot has very little autonomy, when something moves in your space and it seems to have a sense of purpose, we associate that with something having an inner awareness or goals."

Although this design factor is practical for making robots more easily accepted, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sherry Turkle warns of cues fooling people into ascribing emotions to robots.

Said Turkle, "Simulated thinking might be thinking, but simulated feeling is never feeling. Simulated love is never love."

From Associated Press
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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