Sometimes, machines or other objects have characteristics that seem human-like to us. This is especially true of advanced computers and robots.We commit anthropomorphism when we think of a computer or robot as human. Androids, for example, are easy to anthropomorphize. Sciencefiction movies and novels often make use of anthropomorphisms.

An example of anthropomorphism with respect to a computer occurs in the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. In this story, a spacecraft is controlled by “Hal,” a computer that becomes delusional and tries to kill the human astronauts.

Some engineers believe that sophisticated robots and computers already have human qualities, because they can optimize problems and/or learn from their mistakes. Others, however, contend that the criteria for life are far more strict.

Owners of personal robots sometimes think of the machines as companions.In that sense, such robots actually are like people, because it is possible to grow fond of them.

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