Dogs or Robots - Why do Children See Them as Robotic Pets Rather Than Canine Machines?

Bartlett, B., Estivill-Castro, V. and Seymon, S.

    In the not too distant future Intelligent Creatures (robots, smart devices, smart vehicles, smart buildings, etc) will share the everyday living environment of human beings. It is important then to analyze the attitudes humans are to adopt for interaction with morphologically different devices, based on their appearance and behavior. In particular, these devices will become multi-modal interfaces, with computers or networks of computers, for a large and complex universe of applications. Our results show that children are quickly attached to the word 'dog' reflecting a conceptualization that robots that look like dogs (in particular SONY Aibo) are closer to living dogs than they are to other devices. By contrast, adults perceive Aibo as having stronger similarities to machines than to dogs (reflected by definitions of robot). Illustration of the characteristics structured in the definition of robot are insufficient to convince children Aibo is closer to a machine than to a dog.
Cite as: Bartlett, B., Estivill-Castro, V. and Seymon, S. (2004). Dogs or Robots - Why do Children See Them as Robotic Pets Rather Than Canine Machines?. In Proc. Fifth Australasian User Interface Conference (AUIC2004), Dunedin, New Zealand. CRPIT, 28. Cockburn, A., Ed. ACS. 7-14.
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