How Do We Really Feel about Robots?


Robots. We work with them, take care of them, and rely on them in ways many people don’t even realize. We also — in movies — fear them, get killed by them, and use them in evil plots.

With Halloween coming up this weekend, we’ll probably be dressing up as robots either evil or cute, giving them candy, and dancing with them at parties. Come Monday, many of us will be back to worrying that they’ll take our jobs, get too smart for us to handle at work, or take over our government.

But how do we really feel about robots?

One of the emerging methods of finding out what human beings really think is tracking social media mentions of topics, so we turned to SocialMention, an automated system that checks this stuff out.

Turns out we like robots pretty well.

Here’s the raw data for a sampling of this morning’s chatter about robots:

positive 65
neutral 169
negative 6

Positive and neutral mentions of robots, typically in news about advancing technology, outnumber negative mentions by 11 to 1. One example of a negative mention was this tweet: “Killer robots seem wrong for reasons beyond pragmatic worries about safety…” We’re going to agree.

We show a mere 12% passion about robots, but we (as a global group) mention them every 8 seconds on average.

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