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Research Talk by Bernd Schmitt, Columbia Business School (US)

10. Jänner 2019

Bernd Schmitt, the Robert D. Calkins Professor of International Business at Columbia Business School (USA), presented in our Research Seminar Series his work about “Consumer Experiences in the Future: Robot or Human, Human or Robot”.

In a very interesting and philosophical talk, Bernd Schmitt shared insights from four different projects examining people’s perceptions of robots. On his focal project, he suggests that humanity judges robots as less likeable than humans, simply for not being human. A phenomenon that he provocatively calls speciesism, a species-based form of discrimination. To test this hypothesis, he compares perceived liking of a perfect robot/humanoid and an actual human, which are in fact the same person, just labelled differently.

The questions Professor Schmitt raises are becoming progressively relevant in our society with every passing year and every next step the robotics industry makes. His talk inspired vivid discussions and will surely make a lasting impact.

We thank Bernd Schmitt for his visit and inspiring seminar.

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