Better than People ("Why the Japanese want their robots to act more like humans.")

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"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 robots 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."

RDE, initial, checked 16Jun24