Are You Being Served?

David P. Miller, Cathryne Stein, Anne Wright, Randy Sargent

There has been a lot of talk about service robots over the past decade, and indeed some service robots are starting to make their way into the real world; delivering food in hospitals, turning book pages for people with physical diabilities, and the like. Unfortunately, while functional, these robots perform their jobs with all the panache of machines. When people want service robots they really want "servant robots" but without the social guilt that now often accompanies the hiring of actual human servants. To do servants correctly, it is necessary to have a hierarchy in the 'help'. Only the Dark Knight has been able to maintain style and social standing with a single servant.


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