How Humans Respond to Robots

The play that coined the word “robot,” Karel Capek’s R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), included violent robots, compassionate robots, and herd robots (who are content to be workers until incited by the violent robot leaders). This article explores a wide range of human responses to robots.

imageOur expectations of robots and our response to their designs varies internationally; the Uncanny Valley curve has a different arc depending where you are. Certainly, our storytelling diverges greatly. In Japan, robots are cute and cuddly. People are apt to think about robotic pets. In the United States, by contrast, robots are scary. We tend to think of them as threatening. –Heather Knight, Brookings Institution