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Robot Bullying : Understanding the Fear and Hostility Toward AI and Robots

Mar. 09, 2023.
1 min. read Interactions

Why are humans so afraid of robots? Discover the surprising truth behind robot bullying and attacks.

About the Writer

Lewis Farrell

26.68268 MPXR

Highly curious about things that increase my awareness, expand my perception, and make me open to being a better person.

Although AI and robots are designed to be useful, not everyone sees them as such. For more than 30 years, scientists have studied “robot hatred,” and research has revealed that many people regard robots “as the other,” leading to fear and hostility that can lead to sabotage, attacks, and even “robot bullying.” Bullying by robots can be both verbal and physical, including insulting and sexually explicit language, as well as physical attacks, manipulation, and intentional neglect.

Physical attacks, decision-making impairment, manipulation, intentional neglect, and security breaches are all categories of “anti-robot attacks” according to some scholars. There’s even a category for “staging of robot attacks for online dissemination,” in which attackers order food delivered by a robot, wait for it to arrive, and then kick it while filming the incident for online distribution.

Fear and hostility toward AI and robots are motivated by a variety of factors. Some are motivated by the perceived threat that robots pose to people’s livelihoods, while others see robots as “the other,” not one of us. This article examines the history of AI and robots, beginning with their use to make life better or easier and progressing to their more recent use in personal applications such as vocal social agents like Siri and Alexa. It also emphasizes the importance of comprehending people’s fear and hostility toward robots and AI, especially as they become more prevalent in our daily lives.

Source: Discover Magazine (link)
Images: MidJourney, Prompts by Lewis Farrell

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