Robot Funerals Reflect Our Humanity

A Japanese funeral service held for broken AIBO robot dogs may seem strange in the eyes of many Westerners. Owners of AIBOs often treat their robots as beloved pets and family members rather than just machines—an openness that arises in part from Japan’s cultural attitudes toward robots. But the robot funeral also reflects more universal tendencies of human psychology that go beyond Japanese culture.

The memorial service for the AIBO robots took place at the 450-year-old Kofukuji temple i

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