Various factors might influence the decision on switching off a robot. The perception of life largely depends on the observation of intelligent behavior. Even abstract geometrical shapes that move on a computer screen are being perceived as being alive ... in particular if they change their trajectory nonlinearly or if they seem to interact with their environments, such as by avoiding obstacles or seeking goals ... The more intelligent a being is the more rights we tend to grant to it. While we do not bother much about the rights of bacteria, we do have laws for animals. We even differentiate within various animals. We seem to treat dogs and cats better than ants. The main question in this study is if the same behavior occurs towards robots. Are humans more hesitant to switch off a robot that displays intelligent behavior compared to a robot that does show less intelligent behavior?Paper, HTML, hosted on author's site.
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