Why Are We Afraid of Robots? The Role of Projection in the Popular Conception of Robots

  • Michael SzollosyEmail author
Part of the Topics in Intelligent Engineering and Informatics book series (TIEI, volume 9)


The popular conception of robots in fiction, film and the media, as humanoid monsters seeking the destruction of the human race, says little about the future of robotics, but a great deal about contemporary society’s anxieties. Through an examination of the psychoanalytic conception of projection, this essay will examine how robots, cyborgs, androids and AI are constructed in the popular imagination, particularly, how robots come to be feared because they provide unsuitable containers for human projections and how at least part of what we fear in robots is our own idealisation of reason, science and technology.


robots cyborgs artificial intelligence psychoanalysis projection uncanny valley 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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