On November 24, ACI-director Oliver Korn gave the Keynote of the ABC-Robotics Workshop at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.

The keynote titled “Cultural Differences in Social Robot Acceptance. A Case Study and a Concept for Future Field Research” discussed recent findings on cultural differences affecting the acceptance and design preferences of social robots. Based on a survey with 794 participants from Germany and three Arab countries, we investigated how culture influences the preferences for certain robotic attributes (see also the ACM THRI-publication).

We found that preferences do not only differ across cultures, but also within countries with similar cultural backgrounds. This gives rise to an interesting field of applied research in a collaboration between Germany and Israel, as both countries are technologically and economically advanced but have different traditions and ideas about the role of technology.

The keynote outlined future joint research between the Affective & Cognitive Institute and the robotic research labs at Ben-Gurion University, especially the Department of Industrial Engineering & Management and the respective head Yael Edan. We will examinine how users with cultural backgrounds fom Israel and from Germany interact, or avoid interaction, with robots within specific contexts of use.