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Babies treat ‘social robots’ as senient beings

What causes a baby to decide a robot is more than bits of metal? As it turns out, it takes more than humanoid looks— babies that witness a robot engaged in social interaction with adults are much more likely to themselves treat it as a social entity. UW CSE professor Rajesh Rao and UW psychologists published the study starring the Rao lab robot Morphy.  Rao’s team designed the computer programs that make Morphy appear social.

Read the UW News article here. Popular Science also covered this research here. Slashdot discussion is here.

October 15, 2010