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'Who's Johnny?' Anthropomorphic Framing in Human-Robot Interaction, Integration, and Policy

ROBOT ETHICS 2.0, eds. P. Lin, G. Bekey, K. Abney, R. Jenkins, Oxford University Press, 2017, Forthcoming

22 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2015 Last revised: 29 Aug 2016

Kate Darling

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - MIT Media Laboratory; Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Date Written: March 23, 2015

Abstract

People have a tendency to project life-like qualities onto robots. As we increasingly create spaces where robotic technology interacts with humans, this inclination raises ethical questions around use and policy. A human-robot-interaction experiment conducted in our lab indicates that framing robots through anthropomorphic language (like a personified name or story) can impact how people perceive and treat a robot. This chapter explores the effects of encouraging or discouraging people to anthropomorphize robots through framing. I discuss concerns about anthropomorphizing robotic technology in certain contexts, but argue that there are also cases where encouraging anthropomorphism is desirable. Because people respond to framing, framing could help to separate these cases.

Keywords: Robotics, Law & Policy, Psychology, Anthropomorphism, Technology, Framing, Privacy, Violence, Empathy

Suggested Citation

Darling, Kate, 'Who's Johnny?' Anthropomorphic Framing in Human-Robot Interaction, Integration, and Policy (March 23, 2015). ROBOT ETHICS 2.0, eds. P. Lin, G. Bekey, K. Abney, R. Jenkins, Oxford University Press, 2017, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2588669 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2588669

Kate Darling (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - MIT Media Laboratory ( email )

20 Ames St.
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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