Robots and Racism

Christoph Bartneck, Kumar Yogeeswaran, Qi Min Ser, Graeme Woodward, Robert Sparrow, Siheng Wang, Friederike Eyssel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Most robots currently being sold or developed are either stylized with white material or have a metallic appearance. In this research we used the shooter bias paradigm and several questionnaires to investigate if people automatically identify robots as being racialized, such that we might say that some robots are 'White' while others are 'Asian', or 'Black'. To do so, we conducted an extended replication of the classic social psychological shooter bias paradigm using robot stimuli to explore whether effects known from human-human intergroup experiments would generalize to robots that were racialized as Black and White. Reaction-time based measures revealed that participants demonstrated 'shooter-bias' toward both Black people and robot racialized as Black. Participants were also willing to attribute a race to the robots depending on their racialization and demonstrated a high degree of inter-subject agreement when it came to these attributions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHRI 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
EditorsTakayuki Kanda, Guy Hoffman, Selma Šabanović, Adriana Tapus
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450349536
ISBN (Print)9781450349536
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2018
EventAnnual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) 2018 - Chicago, United States of America
Duration: 5 Mar 20188 Mar 2018
Conference number: 13th (Proceedings)


ConferenceAnnual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) 2018
Abbreviated titleHRI 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • Explicit
  • Implicit
  • Prejudice
  • Racism
  • Robot
  • Shooter bias

Cite this