University of Twente Student Theses


Hoax in the Machine: an Ethical Analysis of Perceived Humanness in Social Robots

Halbryt, Alicja (2024) Hoax in the Machine: an Ethical Analysis of Perceived Humanness in Social Robots.

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Abstract:This master's thesis delves into the concept of deception in HRI, focusing on social robotics, particularly those designed to provide companionship. The central research question explores how design features influence deception levels in HRI and, consequently, impact the formation of human-robot relationships. The thesis posits that deception is integral to social robot design and argues that intentional and unintentional design features can deceive users, seemingly creating aliveness, humanness, or intelligence in the robot to replicate human-human interaction. The thesis categorizes deception into three interconnected elements: animacy, anthropomorphism, and perceived intelligence. Analysing animacy involves key studies in human-robot interaction, discussions on anthropomorphism include research on anthropomorphic technology and relevant moderators, while perceptions of intelligence draw from historical perspectives on human intelligence and studies on machine intelligence perception in robots. Additionally, the thesis critically engages with the perspective proposing a shift from deception to performance. Counterarguments and limitations to this viewpoint are discussed, followed by an examination of reciprocity in HRI, asserting that genuine relationships with machines are not attainable. This comprehensive analysis aims to contribute to the ongoing discourse on the intricate relationship between social robot design, deception, and the formation of human-robot connections.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy, 70 social sciences in general, 73 cultural anthropology, 77 psychology
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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