bik1979 writes "The Christmas issue of economist has an interesting article on 'why the Japanese want their robots to act more like humans'. The article says how people in japan are accepting robots into their daily life, more so than accepting other people. From the article: 'What seems to set Japan apart from other countries is that few Japanese are all that worried about the effects that hordes of robots might have on its citizens. Nobody seems prepared to ask awkward questions about how it might turn out. If this bold social experiment produces lots of isolated people, there will of course be an outlet for their loneliness: they can confide in their robot pets and partners. Only in Japan could this be thought less risky than having a compassionate Filipina drop by for a chat.'"