What isanthropomorphic

Anthropomorphism is a natural tendency of human psychology wherein human traits, emotions, or intentions are attributed to non-human entities. Historically, this has been used in narrative and artistic devices, including traditional fables with anthropomorphized animals as characters.

But in the field of social robotics, anthropomorphism takes a different role. It is not considered as a cognitive error or a sign of immaturity but rather as a way to facilitate social interactions between humans and cooperative and interactive agents, the social robots. This approach involves designing robots that activate anthropomorphic projections in users. The goal is to give robots “social presence” and “social behaviors” that are believable enough for humans to form comfortable relationships with machines.

However, this approach exposes social robots to ethical condemnation as they generate the illusion of reciprocal social and affective relationships with users. Nevertheless, social robotics has implications in philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and robotic AI. It offers insights into the potential of anthropomorphism and what it can teach us about our relationship with machines.

FAQs

What is anthropomorphism?

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions or intentions to non-human entities.

What is the role of anthropomorphism in social robotics?

In social robotics, anthropomorphism is seen as a way to facilitate social interactions between humans and cooperative and interactive agents, the social robots, by designing robots that activate anthropomorphic projections in users.

What are the potential ethical concerns in social robotics?

Social robots generate the illusion of reciprocal social and affective relationships with users, which exposes them to ethical condemnation as a “trickster” technology.

Conclusion

Anthropomorphism is a natural tendency of human psychology. In social robotics, it is used as a tool to facilitate social interactions between humans and cooperative and interactive agents. However, it also poses potential ethical concerns as it generates the illusion of social and affective relationships with machines. Nevertheless, social robotics offers insights into the potential of anthropomorphism and what it can teach us about our relationship with machines.

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