Psychology

Trusting robots but not androids

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Science  30 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6260, pp. 525-526
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6260.525-g

Robots that resemble humans often make people uncomfortable.

PHOTO: MAX AGUILERA-HELLWEG

Robots collect warehoused books, weld car parts together, and vacuum floors. As the number of android robots increases, however, concerns about the “uncanny valley” phenomenon—that people dislike a vaguely human-like robot more than either a machine-like robot or a real human—remain. Mathur and Reichling revisited whether human reactions to android robots exhibit an uncanny valley effect, using a set of 80 robot head shots gathered from the Internet and a systematically morphed set of six images extending from entirely robot to entirely human. Humans did adhere to the uncanny valley curve when rating the likeability of both sets of faces; what's more, this curve also described the extent to which those faces were trusted.

Cognition 146, 22 (2016)

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