What do we expect from robots? Social representations, attitudes and evaluations of robots in daily life (2023)

Technology in Society

Volume 66,

August 2021

, 101663

Author links open overlay panel, , ,


To foresee the potential acceptance, rejection and adaptation of robots in societies, it is necessary to overcome deterministic and linear assumptions and explore the plurality of meanings that shape our relationships with these emerging technologies. With this goal in mind, this study investigates the social representation of robots and its interconnection with attitudes and images, in a convenience sample of young adults in Italy (N=422). Participants were asked to complete a self-report questionnaire consisting of a free-association task to the word stimulus “robot”, the Robot Attitude Scale, the acceptance of robots in different domains of life and a measure of mind perceptions of robots. The social representation of robots was articulated around three key semantic dimensions opposing: (1) ‘distant/detached’ vs ‘close/integrated’ views; (2) ‘ideal’ vs ‘material’ aspects; (3) assimilation with ‘ICTs’ vs with electric and mechanic ‘devices.’ These three dichotomies defined different positions connected with general attitudes, domain-specific evaluations of robots, and their level of perceived proximity with human beings. In particular, the view of robots as more concrete and integrated objects was related to positive attitudes and acceptance across all considered domains (i.e. Dull/Dirty, Education/Care and Health/Emergency dimensions). In contrast, more distant views were related to negative attitudes. Our study provides insights into how diverse positions could favour or hinder the introduction of robots in different spheres of everyday life.


There is a growing expectation that we have reached a tipping point in the human-robot relationship. Advances in robotics, from sensors to software and artificial intelligence components, suggest that autonomous systems will be increasingly introduced into the daily lives of citizens in technologically advanced countries over the coming years. The idea of robot as a substitute for the nineteenth-century workforce, which has been such a driving force behind industrial robotics, now seems to have been complemented - if not overtaken - by more contemporary views of robots that are with humans (and which can be further differentiated in assistive, social companion, family, and many other typologies of social robots) [1,2]. However, a rapid and significant change of this nature requires careful considerations of other interpretative dimensions beyond the merely functional advantages, including fears of replacement, competition, safety and security issues [3].

The Social Representations Theory (SRT) provides a holistic stance from which to understand processes of meaning-making that take place within social groups. The starting point is that people's understanding of new social objects, such as emerging technologies, is influenced by socially constructed and continuously evolving symbols, or representations, which serve to render the world meaningful for social actors. SRT provides a rich vocabulary with which to examine the formation, change, and content of these representations, and their relationship to people's actions (e.g., Ref. [4].

Originating from the seminal work by Moscovici [5,6]; SRT is a theory of “structured mental (…) content about socially relevant phenomena, which take the form of images or metaphors (…) created in everyday discourse between social groups” [7]; p. 673).

According to Wagner and colleagues [8]; the understanding of a new technology passed through an intermediate stage where the public compensated for their lack of scientific literacy by using representations, which were the results of a collective symbolic coping with the new technology that maintained them (cf. also [9]. When something new strikes the attention of individuals, they engage in a process of collective material and symbolic coping with the new, that is a sense-making activity which involves naming and attributing characteristics to it in order to make it intelligible and communicable [10]. This process is based on two interrelated processes, anchoring and objectification. Anchoring first serves to associate the new and unfamiliar issue with previous knowledge. Objectification then transforms the abstract into reified realities that can be treated as such. Anchoring and objectification transform the abstract, fuzzy and distant novelty into “an icon, metaphor or trope, which comes to stand for the new phenomenon” [11]; p. 99). These shared conceptual objects, images, and symbols are culturally shared toolkits that help communities grasp the unfamiliar [12], and determine the possibility of behaving and communicating in a meaningful way both for us and the others around us.

As for the relationship between SRs and attitudes, Jaspers and Fraser [13] referred to the attitude as individual responses based on collective representations. In this sense, the notions of attitude and SRs are close, the former being the individual's subjective response to his/her social world.

This study aims to describe the interconnection of the SR of robots, attitudes towards robots and expectations regarding context of use of robots. In the next sections, we will use the SRT to reflect on how the images of robots are interconnected with their acceptance in different spheres of everyday life. Also, the main determinants of attitudes towards robots, and their interaction with users’ characteristics will be summarized. An exploratory study is then presented, which depicts alternative visions circulating in the social arena. The study is conducted with young adults, who should ideally be more ready to penetrate these artefacts in everyday life. In the conclusions, we draw on our results to provide insights and suggestions on how the introduction of robots could interact with these pre-established views.

Section snippets

Social representations of robots

Human-robot interaction has been thoroughly studied as a dyadic relationship which activates individual attitudes and reactions. However, SRT suggests that it is a clear example of triadic relationship self-other-object instead.

Robots have all the characteristics that foster the emergence of SRs [14].

Robots are a techno-scientific innovation that forcefully connects scientific and lay knowledge [6]. As a result, akin to what happened to other techno-scientific innovations, scientific knowledge

Attitudes towards robots

The importance of shared knowledge and images that laypeople and experts have of robots is recognised also in research on robot attitudes [29]. For example, Takayama [30] underlines that it is crucial to understand “popular sentiment” because it “shapes technology adoption and because technologies are more useable if they take people's expectations into account” (p. 2).

Over the years, a number of studies has investigated distal and proximal determinants of attitudes towards robots, and their

Objectives of the study

This study investigates the interconnection of SR, images and attitudes towards robots, within the current debate over the use of robots in daily life.

First, it aims to explore the SR of robot content and field as they emerge via free-association tasks, in a sample of young adults in Italy. Young adults are sometimes defined as digital natives: familiar with new technologies as they have grown up in the digital age, in an inter-reality characterised by continuous interactions with and through


The survey involved a non-probability quota sample of 422 young adult and medium educated Italian participants (n=193, 45.7% self-identified male and n=229, 54.3% self-identified female) participants. The mean age was 21.44 years (SD=2.81; range age: 18–31). Participants were mainly students (n=354, 83.9%); eighteen of them reported to be worker students (4.3%), forty-one of them indicated to be employees (9.7%), and the remaining participants were unemployed persons (n=2; 0.5%;

Content of the social representation of robots

The content of the SR of robots, defined by the most frequent associations, is articulated around prominent thematic nuclei. Table 1 below reports the associations mentioned at least ten times in descending order.

Their material dimension mainly represents robots. Specifically, on the one hand, robots are defined as systems as a whole (e.g., technology, machine, automaton, creation, advanced technology, object). On the other hand, robots are objectified in commonly used devices (e.g., computer,

Discussion and conclusions

Drawing on the SRT, this study examined shared images and beliefs, connected with our understanding and expectations towards robots [66].

Coherently with previous research, this study shows that the SRof robots mixes concrete elements, rational evaluations and leaded value interpretations [25]. These organised sets of images, beliefs, emotions determine alternate views of what a robot is and are connected with the attitudes that participants have towards robots. In particular, thanks to lexical

Author statement file for authors’ individual contributions

Sonia Brondi and Mauro Sarrica: Conceptualization. Sonia Brondi, Mauro Sarrica, Monica Pivetti: Data curation. Sonia Brondi, Mauro Sarrica, Monica Pivetti, Silvia Di Battista: Formal analysis. Sonia Brondi, Mauro Sarrica, Monica Pivetti: Investigation; Sonia Brondi, Mauro Sarrica, Monica Pivetti, Silvia Di Battista: Methodology; Sonia Brondi and Mauro Sarrica: Project administration; Sonia Brondi, Mauro Sarrica, Monica Pivetti, Silvia Di Battista: Resources; Sonia Brondi, Mauro Sarrica, Monica

Declaration of competing interest


(Video) Living, Learning and Creating with Social Robots

References (79)

  • P. Cockshott et al.

    Humans, robots and values

    Technol. Soc.


  • A. Contarello et al.

    ICTs, social thinking and subjective well-being – the internet and its representations in everyday life

    Comput. Hum. Behav.


  • J. Reis et al.

    Service robots in the hospitality industry: the case of Henn-na hotel, Japan

    Technol. Soc.


  • N. Piçarra et al.

    Making sense of social robots: a structural analysis of the layperson's social representation of robots

    Eur. Rev. Appl. Psychol.


  • M.M.A. de Graaf et al.

    Exploring influencing variables for the acceptance of social robots

    Robot. Autonom. Syst.


  • E.L. Hsu et al.

    The development of aged care robots in Japan as a varied process

    Technol. Soc.


  • B.R. Duffy

    Anthropomorphism and the social robot

    Robot. Autonom. Syst.


  • M. Pivetti et al.

    An exploration of social representations of the Roma woman in Italy and Brazil: psychosocial anchoring to emotional reactions

    Int. J. Intercult. Relat.


  • S. Ivanov et al.

    Automation fears: drivers and solutions

    Technol. Soc.


  • S. Ivanov et al.

    Young Russian adults' attitudes towards the potential use of robots in hotels

    Technol. Soc.


  • K. Gray et al.

    Feeling robots and human zombies: mind perception and the uncanny valley



  • S.A. Kaboli et al.

    How late-modern nomads imagine tomorrow? A Causal Layered Analysis practice to explore the images of the future of young adults



  • A.M. Rosenthal-von der Pütten et al.

    How design characteristics of robots determine evaluation and uncanny valley related responses

    Comput. Hum. Behav.


  • C.G. Lord et al.

    Attitude representation theory

  • H.S. Sætra

    The foundations of a policy for the use of social robots in care

    Technol. Soc.


  • A. Weiss et al.

    Looking forward to a “robotic society”?

    Int. J. Soc. Robot.


  • Eurobarometer

    Autonomous Systems. Special Eurobarometer 427


  • U. Gal et al.

    A social representations perspective on information systems implementation: rethinking the concept of "frames

    Inf. Technol. People


  • S. Moscovici

    The phenomenon of social representations

  • S. Moscovici

    Notes towards a description of social representations

    Eur. J. Soc. Psychol.


  • W. Wagner et al.

    How the sperm dominates the ovum: objectification by metaphor in the social representation of reproduction

    Eur. J. Soc. Psychol.


  • W. Wagner et al.

    Collective symbolic coping with new technology: knowledge, images and public discourse

    Br. J. Soc. Psychol.


  • S. Brondi et al.

    The social representation of nanotechnologies and its relationships with those of science and technology: making familiar the unfamiliar between enthusiasm and caution

    J. Risk Res.


    (Video) DRS2020: The Social Aspects of Companion Robots

  • S. Brondi et al.

    Studying the emergence of a new social representation: changes in thinking about nanotechnologies in early 21st‐century Italy

    Eur. J. Soc. Psychol.


  • W. Wagner et al.

    Theory and method of social representations

    Asian J. Soc. Psychol.


  • H. Joffe

    The shock of the new: a psycho-dynamic extension of social representational theory

    J. Theor. Soc. Behav.


  • J. Jaspers et al.

    Attitudes and social representations

  • S. Moscovici

    La psychanalyse, son image et son public


  • R.M. Farr et al.

    Social Representations


  • M. Coeckelbergh

    Robot rights? Towards a social-relational justification of moral consideration

    Ethics Inf. Technol.


  • J.J. Cabibihan et al.

    When robots engage humans

    Int. J. Soc. Robot.


  • G. Wolbring et al.

    Social Robots: views of staff of a disability service organisation

    Int. J. Soc. Robot.


  • Eurobarometer

    Public Attitudes towards Robots. Special Eurobarometer 382


  • R.Q. Stafford et al.

    Does the robot have a mind? Mind perception and attitudes towards robots predict use of an eldercare robot

    Int. J. Soc. Robot.


  • L. Fortunati et al.

    Children's knowledge and imaginary about robots

    Int. J. Soc. Robot.


  • N. Righetti et al.

    From robots to social robots. Trends, representation and facebook engagement of robot-related news stories published by Italian online news media

    Ital. Sociol. Rev.


  • J.M. Puaschunder et al.

    The social representations and legal theory of Artificial Intelligence, robotics and big data in healthcare

    SSRN Electronic J.


  • S. Šabanović

    Robots in society, society in robots. Mutual shaping of society and technology as a framework for social robot design

    Int. J. Soc. Robot.


  • M. Sarrica et al.

    How many facets does a “social robot” have? A review of scientific and popular definitions online

    Inf. Technol. People


  • Cited by (16)

    • Improving evaluations of advanced robots by depicting them in harmful situations

      2023, Computers in Human Behavior

      Citation Excerpt :

      Due to rapid technological advancements, robotic technology has become much more complex, diverse, and visible in recent years (International Federation of Robotics, 2021; Yang et al., 2020). At the same time, people's attitudes towards robots are not only ambivalent (Brondi et al., 2021; Stapels & Eyssel, 2022), empirical data suggest that attitudes towards robots have also become more negative in some parts of the world over the last years (Gnambs & Appel, 2019). As such, scientists from different disciplines are called upon to provide theory and empirical insight as to why people come to like or dislike certain robotic inventions.

      Equipping robots with sophisticated mental abilities can result in reduced likeability (uncanny valley of mind). Other work shows that exposing robots to harm increases empathy and likeability. Connecting both lines of research, we hypothesized that eliciting empathy could mitigate or even reverse the negative response to robots with mind. In two online experiments, we manipulated the attributes of a robot (with or without mind) and presented the robot in situations in which it was either exposed to harm or not. Perceived empathy for the robot and robot likeability served as dependent variables. Experiment 1 (N=559) used text vignettes to manipulate robot mind and a video that involved either physical harm or no harm to the machine. In a second experiment (N=396), both experimental factors were manipulated via the shown video. Across both experiments, we observed a significant indirect effect of presenting the robot in a harmful situation on likeability, with empathy serving as a mediating variable. Moreover, a residual negative influence of showing the robot in a harmful situation was detected. We conclude that the uncanny valley of mind observed in our studies could be based on the robot's human-like imperfection, rather than descriptions of its supposed mind.

    • Effects of different service failure types and recovery strategies on the consumer response mechanism of chatbots

      2022, Technology in Society

      The increasing application of artificial intelligence to online retailing and the rapid deployment of online robots have made online robot service failures common. This study explores consumer response mechanisms to different types of service failures and recovery strategies of chatbots based on role congruity theory and psychological accounting theory. Questionnaires were used to collect data and test hypotheses. The study found the following. First, chatbot service failures can affect consumers' choice of different recovery strategies. After the functional failure of chatbots, consumers are more inclined for the chatbot to be involved in service recovery. After the nonfunctional failure of chatbots, consumers are more inclined toward human involvement in service recovery. Second, different service recovery strategies affect the level of perceived governance. Compared with humans involved in service recovery, robots have a higher level of perceived governance. Third, the level of perceived governance affects consumers’ willingness to forgive. Fourth, the level of robot intelligence plays a moderating role in the types of service failures affecting the choice of recovery strategies. The findings of this study can enrich the response mechanisms and boundary conditions of online robot service failure and provide important insights for online retail enterprises to effectively respond to robot service failure and make reasonable use of human-robot collaborative work.

      (Video) Trustworthy Social Robots

    • Liaison, safeguard, and well-being: Analyzing the role of social robots during the COVID-19 pandemic

      2022, Technology in Society

      Citation Excerpt :

      Social robots are currently utilized in several areas, including healthcare [7–9], education [10], and the service sector [11,12]. It is generally agreed that these autonomous systems will be increasingly integrated into society over the coming years [13]. The critical role that robots could play in public health during disaster situations has long been highlighted [14–16].

      We examine the implementation of social robots in real-world settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we analyze the areas in which social robots are being adopted, the roles and tasks being fulfilled, and the robot models being implemented. For this, we traced back and analyzed 240 deployment cases with 86 different social robots worldwide that have been adopted since the coronavirus outbreak. We found that social robot adoption during this period was strongly related to the use of this technology for crisis management. The social robots’ capacity to perform the roles of liaison to minimize direct contact among humans, safeguard to ensure contagion risk-free environments, and well-being coach to protect mental and physical health, is key to explaining adoption within this context. The results of the study offer a complete overview of social robots’ utilization in real life settings during the pandemic.

    • Basic human needs and robotization: How to make deployment of robots worthwhile for everyone?

      2022, Technology in Society

      Citation Excerpt :

      The results of this study provide additional perspectives for assessing the march of “the fourth industrial revolution” [9,20] in workplaces. As a study of human factors in robotization, our approach differs significantly from most studies in human–computer interaction science, namely, studies of robot acceptance and user experiences in innovations [4,5,10,11]. The Finnish Quality of Work Life Survey includes access to old and new work organizations and environments.

      It is in organizations' best interests to support the motivation and wellbeing of their personnel during organizational changes. One example of this is robotizing work in such a way that the employees also perceive the outcome to be worthwhile. This is especially relevant when supporting and augmenting human competences and contributions in service jobs with new-generation robots. The present study examined the realization of work-related material and psychological needs between robotized and non-robotized workplaces, as well as the relationships among robotization, basic needs, and job satisfaction. The population-based study used nationwide Quality of Work Life survey data collected in Finland (N=4089). The statistical analyses were conducted considering various fields of work. The results show that in robotized work, material needs are met better regarding income, but not necessarily regarding the working environment. Psychological needs (competence, autonomy, and relatedness) were proven to be met more frequently in non-robotized workplaces than in robotized workplaces. Satisfied psychological needs were then positively associated with future-oriented job satisfaction (FJS) in both robotized and non-robotized workplaces. However, there were differences depending on the field of work. In some robotized workplaces, less realization of basic needs even supports FJS. The results demonstrate the importance of acknowledging human factors in robotization and provide valuable information for change management in different industries. Technological changes may not support employees’ basic needs by default, and robotization entails distinct qualities dependent on the field of work.

    • Research on service robot adoption under different service scenarios

      2022, Technology in Society

      Citation Excerpt :

      Ivanov & Webster [10] also indicated that customers may fear using service robots for various reasons and may eventually resist using them or reduce their purchase intentions. Previous studies have explored the factors affecting customers' service robot adoption from three perspectives: robot characteristics, customer characteristics, and robot-customer interaction [2,11–17]. They found that ease of use [18], usefulness [18], service quality [3], social influence [19], anthropomorphism [19,20], gender [21,22], age [23], trust [14], and rapport [12] can affect customers' service robot adoption to various degrees.

      In the future, service robots are expected to become an integral part of people's experience in the service field. However, customer adoption of service robots is still low due to factors such as mismatched service scenarios and customer perception barriers. Through three experiments, this study explored the effect of different service scenarios on service robot adoption and the underlying mechanisms. For credence service, customers had a significantly lower service robot adoption intention in the core component than in the peripheral component; however, customers' service robot adoption intentions in both the core and peripheral components for experience service were relatively high. Further, perceived uncertainty mediated the interaction effect between the service type and service component on service robot adoption intention. This study deepens our understanding of customer responses to service robots and provides actionable strategic support for service providers to implement service robots.

    • Applied Artificial Intelligence and user satisfaction: Smartwatch usage for healthcare in Bangladesh during COVID-19

      2021, Technology in Society

      Citation Excerpt :

      In some cases, AI-enabled devices outperform medical practitioners in offering patients more accurate and precise healthcare information. Socio-demographic characteristics like age and social status are vital in healthcare [31]. Bangladesh has 166.70 million people [32], of which 21.74 million live in Dhaka city [33].

      The evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionized many aspects of human life, including healthcare. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, AI-enabled smartwatches are being used to help users to self-monitor and self-manage their health. Using a framework based on Stimulus-Organism-Response (S–O-R) theory, this present study aimed to explore the use of AI-enabled smartwatches for health purposes, in particular the effects of product quality, service quality, perceived convenience, and perceived ease of use on user experience, trust and user satisfaction. Based on a purposive survey sample of 486 smartphone users in Bangladesh, data collected was analyzed using SPSS software for elementary analyses and PLS-SEM for hypotheses testing. The findings showed that the predictors, namely product quality, service quality, perceived convenience, and perceived ease of use, significantly affected user experience and trust. Similarly, user experience and trust were influential on user satisfaction and played partial mediating roles between predictors and user satisfaction. Besides, gender and age moderate the relationships of experience and trust with customer satisfaction. These findings support the S–O-R theoretical framework and have practical implications for brand and marketing managers of smartwatches in developing product features and understanding users' attitudes and behaviours.

    View all citing articles on Scopus

    Recommended articles (6)

    • Research article

      Adaptation and Validation of Technostress Creators and Technostress Inhibitors Inventories in a Spanish-Speaking Latin American Country

      Technology in Society, Volume 66, 2021, Article 101660

      The use of information and communications technology (ICT) in organizations is a global phenomenon. Their benefits: providing companies with efficiency and productivity, are well-known. Even so, there is growing worry over the stress that workers experience due to technology—technostress—and its negative consequences for organizations and workers. Technostress has not been studied much in a Latin American setting. As a starting point, it is necessary to possess valid and reliable instruments to measure the factors that generate it and the organizational mechanisms that have the potential to reduce its effects. The purpose of this study is to adapt and validate the Technostress Creators and Technostress Inhibitors Inventories in Peru, a Spanish-speaking Latin American country. A linguistic and cultural adaptation was carried out in order to evaluate the psychometric properties of the instruments in a sample of 360 employee ICT end-users. The results indicate the validity of the construct and high reliability for the Technostress Creators Inventory but not for the Technostress Inhibitors Inventory. This study demonstrates that the factors generating technostress are the same in different regions but that the suitability of different organizational practices to address it varies. It is necessary to identify mechanisms best suited to the cultural context of Latin America.

      (Video) Moral Math of Robots: Can Life and Death Decisions Be Coded?
    • Research article

      Islamic alternatives to the ethical maxims of modern technology from the perspective of Mario Bunge

      Technology in Society, Volume 66, 2021, Article 101681

      Mario Bunge argues that the ethics of modern technology are guided by five maxims. He believes that these maxims comprise the core of the ethics of the technology that has prevailed in all industrial societies. They justify the unlimited exploitation of natural and social resources and ignore the dark side of technology. These maxims include the following: Man is separate from and more valuable than nature; man has the right (or even the duty) to subdue nature to his own benefit; man has no responsibility toward nature; the ultimate task of technology is the fullest exploitation of natural and human resources; technologists and technicians are morally irresponsible. He critically formulated these principles in 1979, and today all but one of them have been amended in technology-related ethical guidelines and codes. Although the rejection of these cases is theoretically agreed upon by all, different perspectives offer different alternatives. In the present article, by referring to Quranic verses and the ideas of Muslim thinkers, it is attempted to present five maxims, contrasting these maxims, based on which the ethics of technology are built.

    • Research article

      The ethical issues of social assistive robotics: A critical literature review

      Technology in Society, Volume 67, 2021, Article 101726

      Along with its potential contributions to the practice of care, social assistive robotics raises significant ethical issues. The growing development of this technoscientific field of intelligent robotics has thus triggered a widespread proliferation of ethical attention towards its disruptive potential. However, the current landscape of ethical debate is fragmented and conceptually disordered, endangering ethics’ practical strength for normatively addressing these challenges. This paper presents a critical literature review of the ethical issues of social assistive robotics, which provides a comprehensive and intelligible overview of the current ethical approach to this technoscientific field. On the one hand, ethical issues have been identified, quantitatively analyzed and categorized in three main thematic groups. Namely: Well-being, Care, and Justice. On the other hand –and on the basis of some significant disclosed tendencies of the current approach–, future lines of research and issues regarding the enrichment of the ethical gaze on social assistive robotics have been identified and outlined.

    • Research article

      The meaning of participative implementation processes for local energy balancing in a systemic approach

      Technology in Society, Volume 66, 2021, Article 101653

      Within an interdisciplinary, participatory and transformative research approach, a multi-method research design was used to examine acceptance criteria of energy balancing technologies. Energy balancing is important to integrate the increasing amount of renewable energies efficiently into the energy supply system: due to the fluctuating power production from wind and solar power plants flexibilities are needed. The study applied a holistic, systemic perspective, not only focused on the technologies, but also on consumers, producers and the interwining of both. Within the study, a mixture of balancing technologies, suitable for decentralized energy systems on a regional or local level, took center stage. The most relevant stakeholders to define acceptable pathways for planning and realization processes for decentralized energy balancing concepts are in the focus of interest. They are identified as decision holders to foster the implementation of energy balancing. For environmental planning, regional participation and related governance processes results state a lack of awareness for the necessity of energy balancing. A shared understanding of future energy balancing needs and possibilities within respective regarded areas is crucial besides administrative boundaries of e.g. municipalities. Furthermore, different levels to integrate municipal stakeholders and citizens in an adapted planning process for energy balancing concepts have been identified and a prototype of a strategic planning tool was developed and tested.

    • Research article

      What influences patients' continuance intention to use AI-powered service robots at hospitals? The role of individual characteristics

      Technology in Society, Volume 70, 2022, Article 101996

      AI-powered service robots have gradually developed into popular self-service agents in the health care industry. Though prior research has investigated what affects individuals' adoption of AI-powered service robots in the service industry, few have considered patients' continuance intention for AI-powered service robots at hospitals from the perspective of patients' characteristics. Drawing on the Technology Adoption Model and individual characteristics (i.e., trust in technology and independent personality), we develop a framework testing the factors influencing patients' continuance intention (CI) for AI-powered service robots at hospitals with Intelligent Guide Robots as an example. The model is validated using PLS-SEM analysis and data from 543 patients of a 3-A hospital in Eastern China. The study finds that patients' trust in AI techniques and independent personality positively influence their perception of usefulness (PU), ease-of-use (PEOU), and enjoyment (PE), respectively. Moreover, PU, PEOU, and PE are significant predictors of CI toward AI-powered service robots. PEOU and PE partially mediate the relationship between trust/independent personality and CI. The findings imply that organizations in the healthcare could try their best to increase users' trustworthiness toward AI techniques. In addition, developers could continuously upgrade AI-powered service robots to improve patients’ PE and PEOU.

    • Research article

      Humans, robots and values

      Technology in Society, Volume 45, 2016, pp. 19-28

      From the 1950s onwards the threat automation posed to human labour became a persistent theme in popular science fiction [26], [1]. Authors explored what it meant to be human, by contrasting us with hypothetical robots. Such robots were generally seen as coming into existence centuries into the future. In the last decade the rate of progress in robotics has accelerated way beyond popular expectation. The timescales of Asimov and Dick look generous, whereas the dystopian near future of ‘Player Piano’ [71] seems grimly real. This anxiety is not limited to novelists. Even Stephen Hawkins told the BBC:

      “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” [11].

      Robotics is made possible by advances in mechanical engineering but, above all, by informatics. In this essay we look at how ideas derived from informatics allow us a more precise view of what differentiates us from robots and, on the other hand, how information science can give us a deeper insight into the nature of human labour. Having gained this understanding, we can go on to examine what sort of threat robots really pose to us, as humans.

    This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

    View full text

    © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    What would be the impact of robots on our everyday life? ›

    Less Human Errors

    Robots can ensure better accuracy within the workplace, which reduces the likelihood of human error. When robots work alongside humans, they can help reduce mistakes by carrying out critical tasks without humans having to risk their lives.

    What is the impact of robots in today's society? ›

    They make goods or services that were once out of reach more accessible. There is no debate that robots are more efficient at manufacturing goods than humans. Robots can work with greater accuracy, which reduces wasted materials and labour—and they can keep going when human workers need rest.

    What can we expect from robots in the future? ›

    Robots will increase economic growth and productivity and create new career opportunities for many people worldwide. However, there are still warnings out there about massive job losses, forecasting losses of 20 million manufacturing jobs by 2030, or how 30% of all jobs could be automated by 2030.

    What are the social uses of robots? ›

    Use cases for social robots

    Tutoring - provide learners with a fun, interactive way to practice and master new learning skills. Telepresence -- provide remote meeting attendees with a physical presence in a business meeting. Companionship - provide emotional support to the young, elderly or disabled.

    What are the benefits of robots in human life? ›

    Robots can offer increased productivity, efficiency, quality, and consistency. Robots can't get bored with their job. Until they switch off, they can repeat the same task continuously. Robots can be very accurate than humans, that's why robots are used in the manufacturing of microelectronics.

    Are robots useful in society why and how? ›

    Robots are used in society and make our lives easier.

    This helps us learn more about our planet and find better resources for living on it. Robots also make life easier by doing tasks that are difficult or tedious for humans to do.

    How social robots affect society? ›

    Social robotics is poised to impact society by addressing isolation and providing companionship by augmenting human interaction when none is available. An exciting application of this technology is to assist older adults living with dementia and their informal caregivers.

    How do robots affect quality of life? ›

    Robots can improve our quality of life and make the world better, not by replacing humans, but by working effectively together. Researchers at MIT Sloan and MIT CSAIL are exploring how robotics has the potential to power the economy and improve the quality of our lives.

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of using robots? ›

    Robots can handle tasks that are challenging for humans to do. Robots are more productive than people since they can work continuously. If robots are used extensively across sectors, skilled professionals will continue to lose their jobs as robots replace people in labour-intensive jobs.

    Can robots replace humans in the future? ›

    Regardless of how well AI machines are programmed to respond to humans, it is unlikely that humans will ever develop such a strong emotional connection with these machines. Hence, AI cannot replace humans, especially as connecting with others is vital for business growth.

    Will robots have emotions in the future? ›

    Because robots are made of metal and plastic, it is highly unlikely that they will ever have the kinds of inputs from bodies that help to determine the experiences that people have, the feelings that are much more than mere judgments.

    Can robots replace humans essay? ›

    No matter how insightful a machine may become, it can never replace a human. Also, workers can improve and develop their working through age and experiences. However, this cannot be said about robots as they are machines that cannot have creativity or imagination.

    What is the future of social robots? ›

    Social robotics, robots working together with humans and other robots, will become the new reality. Increased computing capacity and improved learning in artificial intelligence will pave the way for robots to enter almost all human domains, such as healthcare, factories, airports, warehouses, schools etc.

    What makes robots social? ›

    Through this work, Sarrica and colleagues identified a few shared traits: social robots are physically embodied agents that have some (or full) autonomy and engage in social interactions with humans, by communicating, cooperating, and making decisions.

    How can robots help humans in the future? ›

    We'll see advances in robots' ability to use natural language processing solutions, allowing them to process and interpret conversations more accurately. We'll see major gains in AI and machine learning, with experts anticipating that more self-aware and self-learning devices will hit the market.

    What is the purpose of robots? ›

    robotics, design, construction, and use of machines (robots) to perform tasks done traditionally by human beings. Robots are widely used in such industries as automobile manufacture to perform simple repetitive tasks, and in industries where work must be performed in environments hazardous to humans.

    What are 3 advantages of robots in industry? ›

    The Benefits of Robotics in Manufacturing
    • Accuracy and Consistency. Human error has long been a necessary evil in manufacturing. ...
    • Efficiency and Output. A human worker must take breaks and work set shifts. ...
    • Flexibility. ...
    • Better Jobs for Humans. ...
    • Future-proofing.

    Why is robotics important in education? ›

    Through play, educational robots help children develop one of the basic cognitive skills of mathematical thinking at an early age: computational thinking. That is, they help develop the mental process we use to solve problems of various kinds through an orderly sequence of actions.

    What will happen to society with robots that can feel or show emotions? ›

    If robots were to feel emotions, society would need to consider their rights as living beings, which could be detrimental to humanity. It is unjust and cruel to deny a living, caring thing certain treatments and activities. Therefore, robots with emotions and specific desires would be a severe weight on our society.

    How do social robots interact with humans? ›

    Social robots can also be programmed to recognise vocal expression and not just the content of language, as a means of trying to read the mood of their interlocutors; and they can be made to respond adaptively to such cues by varying their behaviour either to mirror or to respond in a fashion complementary to the ...

    Which robotics are social or interact with humans? ›

    Social robots are artificial intelligence platforms, paired with sensors, cameras, microphones and other technology, like computer vision, so they can better interact and engage with humans or other robots.

    How do robots affect human life in terms of services? ›

    Robots can bring down the cost of goods and services because it would decrease the price of labour. It would give a greater number of people access to things that might have previously been out of their means.

    Are robots good or bad for society? ›

    Robots eliminate dangerous jobs for humans because they are capable of working in hazardous environments. They can handle lifting heavy loads, toxic substances and repetitive tasks. This has helped companies to prevent many accidents, also saving time and money.

    Are robots good or bad for humanity why? ›

    Robots are a good way to implement the lean principle in an industry. They save time as they can produce more products. They also reduce the amount of wasted material used due to the high accuracy. Including robots in production lines, will save money as they have quick return on investment (ROI).

    What will happen to humanity if robots take over? ›

    It could be that displaced human workers can't re-skill and don't have it in them to fill the more human-driven roles. This would obviously lead to higher unemployment numbers, which would have a large impact on society and the economy. The impacts of this possibility are far-reaching.

    Can robots replace human creativity? ›

    While AI can automate many tasks, it cannot replace the human experience of creativity and emotion, at least not yet. Therefore, it is important to view AI as a tool that can assist and augment human creativity and workmanship rather than a replacement for it.

    Will robots reduce human employment? ›

    A 2020 World Economic Forum report predicted that robotics and automation would displace 85 million jobs globally in the coming five years. Yet, it also predicted that the technologies would create 97 million new jobs—generally ones requiring more skills and education.

    Do robots have rights? ›

    In the world of science fiction, there are no robot rights at all. This is a result of the emotional distance we are all raised from machines. They stand out and are unique.

    Can robots actually have feelings? ›

    Such robots, so the thought goes, might be very good, much better than us, at crunching data or navigating an environment at high speed, but they will never experience, so never have, emotions. What is Emotion? So, if these considerations are along the right lines, robots need emotions yet could never have them.

    Do robots feel pain? ›

    Mikhail Lebedev, Academic Supervisor at HSE University's Centre for Bioelectric Interfaces, says, “Robots can even stimulate sensations of pain: some forms of physical contact which has a normal feeling or a contact that causes pain. This contact drastically changes the robot's behaviour.

    Why can't robots replace a human explain? ›

    One of the main reasons why AI cannot replace human beings is the lack of creativity. Humans possess a unique ability to think creatively and come up with new and original ideas. Creativity is a complex human trait that is influenced by various factors such as emotions, culture, and experiences.

    Can robot replaces human yes or no and explain your answer? ›

    So, will machines replace humans for many jobs? The answer is unequivocal, yes. However, I assert that with every job taken over by machines, there will be an equal number of opportunities for jobs to be done by people. Some of these human jobs will be of the creative type.

    What can a robot do better than a human? ›

    Reliability. If powered correctly, a machine/robot can work for a very long period of time. This results in them being consistent and reliable. Humans cannot work forever and tend to get tired when working, so by using robotics it will ensure work is done properly and is a constant flow.

    What are the 5 things that robots can do that humans can t? ›

    Here are five areas where robots and robot research are making powerful – and practical – strides.
    • Handling tedium. ...
    • Extreme sensing. ...
    • Strength and speed. ...
    • Unwavering focus. ...
    • Perfect, objective recall.
    Sep 24, 2018

    How will robots affect the environment? ›

    Cleaning up these plastics would not be possible without robots, which make the job much easier and less expensive. They also protect marine life, significantly reduce the number of gases the ocean absorbs, and help the human food chain. One of the sectors most affected by climate change is agriculture and livestock.

    What are the negative effects of robots on humans? ›

    Disadvantages Of Robots In The Workplace
    • Increased unemployment. ...
    • Cannot handle unexpected situations. ...
    • Lack critical thinking. ...
    • Can cost more. ...
    • Require installation and maintenance. ...
    • Lack empathy. ...
    • Security risks. ...
    • Environmental risks.
    Nov 16, 2022

    What are 3 things robots can do better than humans? ›

    Robots rarely make mistakes and are more precise than human workers. They can produce a greater quantity in a short amount of time. They can work at a constant speed with no breaks, days off, or holiday time. They can perform applications with more repeatability than humans.

    How will robots have a positive influence on our lives in the future? ›

    The current aim of Robots' positive impact development is to create automation that can perform dull, dirty, and dangerous jobs that humans either should not or cannot do. detecting and deactivating bombs, working in environments too hot, cold, or radioactive for humans to live producing goods or components repeatedly.

    What are the uses of robots? ›

    Robots are widely used in manufacturing, assembly and packing, transport, earth and space exploration, surgery, weaponry, laboratory research, and mass production of consumer and industrial goods.

    What are the two greatest benefits and dangers of robots? ›

    To address both sides of the discussion, we have put together a few brief advantages and disadvantages of using robotic automation.
    • Cost Effectiveness. ...
    • Improved Quality Assurance. ...
    • Increased Productivity. ...
    • Work In Hazardous Environments. ...
    • Potential Job Losses. ...
    • Initial Investment Costs.
    Dec 11, 2017

    Are robots good or bad for the environment? ›

    Robots Reduce Material Waste

    Not only can robots be utilized for sorting through waste, but they can also help prevent it in the first place. Industrial robots are designed to perform tasks with incredible precision and accuracy, through the use of programming, robotic vision systems, and force sensors.

    Will robots make our lives better or worse? ›

    Not only are robots able to work with better accuracy, which reduces the amount of time and materials wasted, they can also work faster (and longer) than humans can. While this can have an adverse impact on the jobs that people rely on, it also, by lower manufacturing costs, makes the price of goods cheaper.

    Are robots going to increase the quality of life disadvantages? ›

    There are disadvantages as robots cost much money in maintenance, replacement parts or new upgraded robots and costly repairs. The programs need to be updated to suit the changing business requirements and the future requirements which can only be through feasible studies.

    Is AI helping or hurting society? ›

    AI has the potential to bring about numerous positive changes in society, including enhanced productivity, improved healthcare, and increased access to education. AI-powered technologies can also help solve complex problems and make our daily lives easier and more convenient.


    1. Dr. Cynthia Breazeal - Part 1 - The Personal Side Of Robots
    2. Formalizing Teamwork in Human-Robot Interaction
    (Microsoft Research)
    3. Google Just Put an A.I. Brain in a Robot [Research Breakthrough]
    4. After watching this, your brain will not be the same | Lara Boyd | TEDxVancouver
    (TEDx Talks)
    5. [SAIF2020] Day2: Human Robot Interaction - Subbarao Kambhampati | Samsung
    6. Dr. Cynthia Breazeal: "The Personal Side of Robots" | SXSW Live 2015 | SXSW ON


    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Zonia Mosciski DO

    Last Updated: 09/04/2023

    Views: 6058

    Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

    Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Zonia Mosciski DO

    Birthday: 1996-05-16

    Address: Suite 228 919 Deana Ford, Lake Meridithberg, NE 60017-4257

    Phone: +2613987384138

    Job: Chief Retail Officer

    Hobby: Tai chi, Dowsing, Poi, Letterboxing, Watching movies, Video gaming, Singing

    Introduction: My name is Zonia Mosciski DO, I am a enchanting, joyous, lovely, successful, hilarious, tender, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.