Due to its interdisciplinary nature, the field of HRI uses many concepts typical of the social sciences and humanities, in addition to terms that are usually associated with technology. In this paper, I analyse the problems that arise when we use the term ‘empathy’ to describe and explain the interaction between robots and humans. I argue that this not only raises questions about the possibility of applying this term in situations in which only one of the participants of the interaction is a traditionally understood social subject but also requires answers to questions about such problematic concepts as values and culture.
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