Better than People ("Why the Japanese want their robots to act more like humans.")
"Better than People" ("Why the Japanese want their robots to act more like humans.") The Economist (London) 24 Dec. 2005: 58-59.
Article includes examination of why real-world Japanese might prefer robot attendants in a nursing home to a human foreigner—and simply do like robots. Explanations include religious background of (as named in the article) Shintoism: "infused with animism: it does not make clear distinctions between inanimate things and organic beings. A popular Japanese theory about robots, therefore, is that there is no need to explain why Japanese are fond of them: what needs explaining, rather, is why westerners would object to a robot made in man's image." Less philosophically, "Japanese popular culture has consistently portrayed r in a positive light, ever since Japan created its first famous cartoon robot, Tetsuwan Atomu, in 1953" (a robot with an atomic heart). Japanese lack of "robophobia" helps make Japan a leader in developing "interactive robots."