The New York Times reports that the number of attacks on robots has grown. In fact, different types of devices are being attacked: from gadgets at supermarkets to self-driving cars.
The most recent case of robot cruelty has been reported at a US kindergarten. Children attacked a machine by kicking and pushing it for no reason. What is interesting is that when the kindergarten teacher gave this robot a name, children’s aggression subsided. Experts attribute these cases to the Frankenstein syndrome, a label that scientists gave to people’s fear of humanlike objects.
Another possible cause of such vandalism is people’s fear of being useless in a society made up of machines. Luddite riots started in the 19th century during the time of rapid industrialization. High production machines made the use of human labor ineffective and many people ended up unemployed and started riots as a result.
There are plenty of reasons behind robot cruelty. They are manifold and complex. As technologies develop, questions asked by philosophers of the past are becoming more prominent: who are humans and what is their place in this world? Future generations are yet to come up with an answer…