The Good, The Bad, The Weird: Audience Evaluation of a “Real” Robot in Relation to Science Fiction and Mass Media
When researchers develop robots based on a user-centered design approach, two important questions might emerge: How does the representation of robots in science fiction and the mass media impact the general attitude naïve users have towards robots and how will it impact the attitude towards the specifically developed robot? Previous research has shown that many expectations of naïve users towards real robots are influenced by media representations. Using three empirical studies (focus group, situated interviews, online survey) as a case in point, this paper offers a reflection on the interrelation of media representations and the robot IURO(Interactive Urban Robot). We argue that when it comes to the evaluation of a robot, “good” and “bad” media representations impact the attitude of the participants in a different way. Our results indicate that the previous experience of fictional robots through the media leads to “weird”, double-minded feelings towards real robots. To compensate this, we suggest using the impact of the mass media to actively shape people’s attitude towards real robots.
Keywordsfictional robots perception of robots
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