Unsocial Robots: How Western Culture Dooms Consumer Social Robots to a Society of One

Matthew Peter Aylett, Randy Gomez, Eleanor Sandry, Selma Sabanovic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


Markus and Kitayama suggests Western centric culture has a bias to the independent rather than the interdependence self. We argue that this has resulted in a bias for social robots to be assistants, companions, wing-men and one-to-one carers. Thus, the social in most commercial social robots is a simulated social interaction with a single user, an echo chamber of unnecessary interaction that inevitability creates systems that obstruct social interaction rather than encourage it. The resulting robot flunkies, yes-men and pretend friends have little long term utility. In contrast, we argue that rather it is as mediators, facilitators and working within human communities and groups that offers the real opportunity for social robots.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI EA '23: Extended Abstracts of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Print)9781450394222
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2023


  • Social Robots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software


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