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Robopsychology is the study of the personalities and behavior of intelligent machines. The term was coined by Isaac Asimov in the short stories collected in I, Robot, which featured robopsychologist Dr. Susan Calvin,[1] and whose plots largely revolved around the protagonist solving problems connected with intelligent robot behaviour.

In real life[edit]

Andrea Kuszewski, a self-described robopsychologist gives the following examples of potential responsibilities for a robopsychologist in Discover.

  • "Assisting in the design of cognitive architectures
  • Developing appropriate lesson plans for teaching AI targeted skills
  • Create guides to help the AI through the learning process
  • Address any maladaptive machine behaviors
  • Research the nature of ethics and how it can be taught and/or reinforced
  • Create new and innovative therapy approaches for the domain of computer-based intelligences"[2]

There is a robospychology research division at Ars Electronica Futurelab[3]

In fiction[edit]

The stories also introduced Asimov's famous Three Laws of Robotics. Another robopsychologist mentioned by name is Clinton Madarian, who is introduced as being Susan Calvin's successor in the story "Feminine Intuition".

As described by Asimov, robopsychology appears to be a mixture of detailed mathematical analysis and traditional psychology, applied to robots. Human psychology is also a part, covering human interaction with robots. This includes the "Frankenstein complex" – the irrational fear that robots (or other creations) will turn on their creator.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reichert, Mickey. I, Robot: to obey. Penguin Group.
  2. ^ "I, Robopsychologist, Part 1: Why Robots Need Psychologists". Discover.
  3. ^