On "Humanoid robots as 'The Cultural Other': are we able to love our creations?"
    By Samuel Kenyon | September 7th 2013 12:48 AM | 3 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    Software engineer, AI researcher, interaction designer (IxD), actor, writer, atheist transhumanist. My blog will attempt to synthesize concepts...

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    I just noticed a recently published Springer article titled "Humanoid robots as “The Cultural Other”: are we able to love our creations?" by Min-Sun Kim and Eun-Joo Kim [1] which cites my own article "Would You Still Love Me If I Was A Robot?"[2].

    At the moment I do not have access to the full article, but as you can see the first two pages are available for anyone.

    Initially, what's unnerving about this publication is not the subject itself, but weirdnesses like:

    It is either aliens or robots, which will get us!

    You can see this quote under the Introduction heading. It is funny and appropriate, yet bizarre because it's attributed to "American expression". Obviously Americans are always saying that. Except they don't. Ever. In fact I'm not sure if anybody has every said that exact phrase. Try googling for it.

    The other odd thing about this potentially enthralling article is the abstract itself. There are some striking similarities to the abstract of my aforementioned paper.

    From my abstract:

    The likely scenario is the latter, which is compatible with an optimistic posthuman world.

    From their abstract:

    The likely and preferable scenario is the last one, which is compatible with an optimistic posthuman world in our evolutionary future.


    Their abstract indicates a different theme than mine, perhaps inspired by my title ("Would You Still Love Me If I Was A Robot?"):

    We imagine whether humans will meet the challenge of loving all living and non-living beings (including mechanical entities) might be the key to the co-evolution of both species and the ultimate happiness.

    My theme, on the other hand, was that an interface point of view is critical for understanding and designing the future artificial-biological spectrum of humans, cyborgs, and robots.

    I hope that their paper was in fact original in theme and purposely so as opposed to a misunderstanding of my article.


    I figured out how to easily download the entire article from SpringerLink as PNG files. It appears that the article is in fact different in theme than mine, but it breaks basic academic integrity rules about how to properly quote sources.

    For instance, they use this very unique sentence verbatim from my own article, and cite me, but don't present it as a quote: 

    it appears that the notion of evil AI--which is always accompanied by murderous robots--has been filtered into the collective mindset, regurgitated and re-swallowed several times (perhaps more so in certain countries like the United States than in others).

    As another example, my unique sentence:
    Somehow the tribal notion of Us-Versus-Them co-exists with the contradictory cultural attraction to robots.
    is ripped off verbatim without even a citation, let alone quotation formatting.


    [1] M.-S. Kim and E.-J. Kim, “Humanoid robots as ‘The Cultural Other’: are we able to love our creations?,” AI&Soc, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 309–318, Aug. 2013.
    [2] S. Kenyon, “Would You Still Love Me If I Was A Robot?” Journal of Evolution and Technology, Vol. 19, Issue 1, Sept. 2008, pp. 17-27.


    Wow, that's some serious plagiarism.

    There have been other cases, although not as bad.

    In this article "Influence of Emotional Robots Design on Humans", (which I'm not sure was actually published or not?) the entire content of section 3, "Emotional robotics", is almost completely lifted from my paper “The Need for Emotional Architectures in Practical Robots." They cite me, but do not indicate that the whole section is from me and butcher the quotation marks with gusto.

    But the weirdness doesn't stop there. Apparently they didn't like the fact that they were copying huge swaths of text from an unpublished paper. That's right, my article was never submitted or published anywhere. It was for an undergraduate English course (Northeastern middler year writing) and I posted it on my website for the world to enjoy.

    So they upgraded it to a publication:

    But wait, it gets even better. This same paper has been faux-published in the wishful eyes of other researchers as well. "Artificial emotion triggered stochastic behavior transitions with motivational gain effects for multi-objective robot tasks" (in Proc. SPIE 6560) cites my paper as:
    Kenyon, S.H., 2003. The Need For Emotional Architectures in Practical Robots, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press,.
    Wow! Now it's a book? I expect the royalties from this phantom tome to start arriving any day now.
    What's the Korean word for "homage"?