Age differences and images of robots: Social survey in Japan

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Abstract:

In order to investigate the influence of participants' age on their image of robots in Japan, a pilot research was completed by 371 visitors (male: 124, female: 246, age: from 2 to 80 years) at a robot exhibition held at a commercial facility in Japan, based on the questionnaire consisting of four open-ended questions. The comparison of younger (under 25 years), adult (26–50 years), and elderly groups (older than 51 years), found that: (1) in the younger age group, images of robots are ambiguous about near future assumptions, preferences, and antipathy, (2) the adult group assumes that communication robots will appear in the near future, but actually expects robots to function in non-communication tasks such as household duties and dangerous tasks, and experiences great anxiety and fear about social relationships between robots and humans, (3) the elderly group assumes that both communication and non-communication robots will appear in the near future, but actually expects robots to function in communication tasks such as service in public settings and providing care at home or in welfare facilities, and is very concerned about the physical and ecological damage that robots may cause. Although the pilot study had a problem of sample bias on participant selection and distributions of gender and age, it can lead to some predictions on social acceptance of robots in Japan.

Keywords: AGE DIFFERENCES; IMAGES; ROBOTS; SOCIAL RESEARCH

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/is.10.3.05nom

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems
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