Both our papers were accepted as full papers for publication and presentation at the RO-MAN conference to be held in August in New York. Below are the titles and their abstracts.
With an expected growth of robots in our future society, we believe that potential implications for robot applications should be addressed. Therefore, we conducted an online questionnaire among the general Dutch population (n= 1162) to map the societal impact of robots by identifying potential benefits and disadvantages of future robot applications. People differentiate between several applications, and more realistic applications were also rated more positively. Overall, people associate a future robot society with the positive consequences of efficiency, decrease of casualties, and convenience, and the negative consequences of job loss and robots’ lack of social skills. Our qualitative approach provides an in-depth evaluation of potential future robot applications, which could prompt guidelines for the development of acceptable robots.
The acceptability of robots in homes does not depend solely on the practical benefits they may provide, but also on complex relationships between cognitive, affective and emotional components of people’s associations of and attitudes towards robots. This important area of research mainly relies on explicit measures, and alternative measures are rather unexplored. We therefore studied both implicit and explicit associations of robots, and found inconsistent findings between implicit and explicit measures. Our findings speak in favor of the proposition that people are actually more negative about robots than they consciously express. Since associations play an important role when people form attitudes towards robots we stress that caution when researchers and designers solely rely on explicit measures in their research.