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People like to react aggressively to robots. Why?

In late 2015, for example, Hitchbot, a robot that hitchhiked around the world, was beaten, dented, and trampled by unknown people to the point that it could not be saved or repaired. A security robot in San Francisco was knocked over, angled in foil and smeared with BBQ sauce. A sex robot was abused at a trade show. Visitors broke his artificial fingers. Small delivery robots are kicked and knocked over . And the self-driving robo-cars from Waymo and other startups are getting rocks thrown at them. Guns have even been drawn to shoot at them.

Increasing automation does not make humans seem extraordinarily intelligent. Many react to the machines with baser instincts: they mob them. You beat them. Many are clearly afraid of them – and their consequences.

In other words, a social problem is rolling toward us.

More precisely, this problem has already been among us for some time, because Trump or the yellow vests are political consequences of these developments (among others) – if you do not “take the people with you”. Or to put it less paternalistically: If we don’t finally take a more holistic approach to the digital transformation of our society.

But what makes humans act so aggressively toward the robots themselves?

  • Is it the fear of losing one’s job?
  • Are they considered an intruder in “our” world?
  • Or do simulated eyes help machines in contact with humans to make the latter react more friendly?

That’s what this article is about, with reference to some studies. And we need more of them if we don’t want to experience a Machine Storm 4.0.

Article published on July 2, 2022 on piqd as a reference to the ie9 article Why do some people go after robots so brutally?

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