Human-robot interactions: how do people attribute gender to robots?

A growing population of service and social robots are moving out of research labs and entering ‘the wild’ as mainstream consumer products.

When robots enter homes and workplaces, their human-like features and characteristics can help people to accept them.

But the ways we anthropomorphise robots – naming them, attributing gender, age, dressing them up – can lead to interesting flow on effects, including the risk of stereotyping.

Dr Giulia Perugia researches people’s interactions with robots and their implications for ethics, gender and inclusion, based at the Human Technology Interaction Group of Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Petra Stock chats to Giulia about the tendency to anthropomorphise robots and the risks involved with gendering robots.

Want to know more about robots?

Watch: Machines with meaning: the ethics of robots

Listen: The Science Briefing: The double-edged sword of making robots more human

Read: Gendering robots is a cognitive shortcut that can lead to short circuits

Read: “The robot broke the child’s finger… this is of course bad”

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