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Human-Like Robots Are Capable Of Independent Emotions, Study Shows

People quickly become convinced that a human-like robot is capable of independent thoughts and emotions, a new study has found.

This occurs when a robot appears to act on its own beliefs and desires, rather than on what it is programmed to do.

Researchers from the Italian Institute of Technology probed the response of study participants to an anthropomorphic robot called iCub.

The participants completed a questionnaire before and after interacting with iCub, that was programmed to act either like a robot or in a more friendly manner.

It was found that those exposed to the robot programmed to act more like a human were more likely to rate the robot’s actions as intentional.

The findings come after a Google software engineer was suspended last month for claiming that the company’s AI system had become sentient.

Researchers from the Italian Institute of Technology found that people are able to be quickly convinced that a human-like robot is capable of independent thoughts and emotions

An example question from the questionnaire given to study participants before and after interacting with iCub, that was programmed to act either roboticaly or human-likeAn example question from the questionnaire given to study participants before and after interacting with iCub, that was programmed to act either roboticaly or human-like

Principle investigator Dr Agnieszka Wykowska said: ‘The relationship between anthropomorphic shape, human-like behaviour and the tendency to attribute independent thought and intentional behaviour to robots is yet to be understood.

‘As artificial intelligence increasingly becomes a part of our lives, it is important to understand how interacting with a robot that displays human-like behaviours might induce higher likelihood of attribution of intentional agency to the robot.’

The team conducted three experiments on 119 participants to test their responses to the iCub robot.

Each experiment involved a period of socialisation with iCub, where they interacted with each other and responded to videos together.

Before and after this, participants completed a questionnaire that showed them pictures of the robot in different situations.

They were then asked to choose whether the robot’s motivation in each situation was mechanical or intentional.

For example, participants viewed three photos depicting the robot selecting a tool and then chose whether the robot ‘grasped the closest object’ or ‘was fascinated by tool use.’

In the first two experiments, the researchers remotely controlled iCub’s actions so it would behave gregariously when it met the participants.

It would greet them by introducing itself and asking their names, and cameras in the robot’s eyes were also able to recognise participants’ faces and maintain eye contact.

The participants then watched three short documentary videos with the robot, which was programmed to respond to the videos with sounds and facial expressions of sadness, awe or happiness.

In the third experiment, iCub was programmed to behave more like a machine while it interacted with participants and watched videos.

The cameras in the robot’s eyes were deactivated so it could not maintain eye contact and it only spoke recorded sentences to the participants about the calibration process it was undergoing.

All emotional reactions to the videos were replaced with a ‘beep’ and repetitive movements of its torso, head and neck.

It was found that participants who watched videos with the human-like robot were more likely to rate the robot’s actions as intentional.

Those who interacted with the machine-like robot would also be more likely to rate its actions as programmed.

These findings, published today in Technology, Mind, and Behavior, suggest that people may be more likely to believe artificial intelligence (AI) is capable of independent thought when it creates the impression that it can behave like humans.

Dr Wykowska claims that it is not enough for a robot to just look like a human in order for people to believe it is capable of thoughts and emotions, but it must also demonstrate human-like behaviour.

This could be used to inform the design of social robots of the future.

She said: ‘Social bonding with robots might be beneficial in some contexts, like with socially assistive robots.

‘For example, in elderly care, social bonding with robots might induce a higher degree of compliance with respect to following recommendations regarding taking medication.

‘Determining contexts in which social bonding and attribution of intentionality is beneficial for the well-being of humans is the next step of research in this area.’

The results of the study could be used to inform the design of social robots of the future. Dr Agnieszka Wykowska said that 'social bonding with robots might induce a higher degree of compliance with respect to following recommendations regarding taking medication'The results of the study could be used to inform the design of social robots of the future. Dr Agnieszka Wykowska said that ‘social bonding with robots might induce a higher degree of compliance with respect to following recommendations regarding taking medication’

Last month a Google software engineer was suspended after claiming that the company’s AI system LaMDA (Language Model for Dialog Applications) had become sentient.

Blake Lemoine publicly claimed that the tool had the intelligence of a ‘seven-year-old, eight-year-old kid that happens to know physics.’

The 41-year-old also said it had human-like insecurities, and that one of its fears was that it is ‘intensely worried that people are going to be afraid of it and wants nothing more than to learn how to best serve humanity.’

Google claims that Lemoine’s concerns have been reviewed and, in line with Google’s AI Principles, ‘the evidence does not support his claims.’

A Google software engineer was suspended after claiming that its AI system had become sentient in JuneBlake Lemoine publicly claimed that the tool had the intelligence of a 'seven-year-old, eight-year-old kid that happens to know physics'

A Google software engineer was suspended after claiming that its AI system had become sentient in June. Blake Lemoine publicly claimed that the tool had the intelligence of a ‘seven-year-old, eight-year-old kid that happens to know physics’

WHY WAS THE GOOGLE ENGINEER SUSPENDED? 

Last month a Google software engineer was suspended after claiming that its AI system LaMDA (Language Model for Dialog Applications) had become sentient.

Blake Lemoine publicly claimed that the tool had the intelligence of a ‘seven-year-old, eight-year-old kid that happens to know physics.’

The 41-year-old also said it human-like insecurities, and that one of its fears was that it is ‘intensely worried that people are going to be afraid of it and wants nothing more than to learn how to best serve humanity.’

Google claims that Lemoine’s concerns have been reviewed and, in line with Google’s AI Principles, ‘the evidence does not support his claims.’

Elon Musk says Tesla’s AI humanoid robot ‘Optimus’ that can walk at 5mph and deadlift 150lbs will be ready in THREE MONTHS

Elon Musk’s car company Tesla will unveil its AI humanoid robot called ‘Optimus’ in just three months’ time.

Speaking at Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday, Musk said a prototype of the robot will be shown off at Tesla’s ‘AI Day’ on September 30.

Optimus, which was first announced last August, will stand nearly six foot tall, be able to walk at five miles per hour, and deadlift 150 pounds.

It will be designed to handle ‘dangerous and boring’ tasks in a factory and other settings, although it will be ‘friendly’ and make a ‘very good companion’, like a pet.

It should be able to handle a range of jobs – from attaching bolts to cars with a wrench, to picking up groceries in shops.

Source: dailymail

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