Artificial intelligence and robots are on the fast lane—and they entail many opportunities for humanity: From improving medical diagnoses to enabling greater autonomy for the elderly, from cleaning the house to optimizing energy efficiency. In the public discourse, however, smart technologies are customarily represented by the stereotypical image of the android, the artificial replication of human beings. Research on the uncanny valley phenomenon indicates that this depiction reflects a type of machine that feels particularly unsettling and threatening to many people. Based on empirical findings, Mara argues that a human-centered approach towards AI and robotics must foster new visions of complementary human-machine relationships instead of fueling fears of substitution. Furthermore, as many outside the expert circles still lack information about technical functions and are uncomfortable with technology they don’t understand, a human-centered approach also needs to demystify AI and robotics: By explaining basic technological concepts to the public and by designing machines that are explainable themselves.
Univ.-Prof.in Dr.in Martina Mara LIT Robopsychology Lab