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Artificial Intelligence Standford University Touch

Touching robots can elicit emotions in humans including arousal says Stanford study


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

April 6, 2016 | 2 min read

Humans have emotional reactions when coming into contact with robots, according to researchers from Stanford University, a discovery which could shape how robots are designed and utilised in future.

The results also showed that touching the buttocks or genital region of a robot can elicit an aroused response from humans, the researchers in California claim.

Following the news that a Hong Kong designer spent $50,000 to create a robot that looks just like Scarlett Johansson, Jamy Li, study leader at Stanford University, said: “Our work shows that robots are a new form of media that is particularly powerful. It shows that people respond to robots in a primitive, social way.

“Social conventions regarding touching someone else’s private parts apply to a robot’s body parts as well. The research has implications for both robot design and the theory of artificial systems.”

The findings will help shape how “robots with human forms may assist us in personal and public spaces,” the study reads. It concludes: “What kinds of relationships will people develop with these robots? While they are clearly not human, social conventions such as body accessibility may apply to robots as well.”

Artificial Intelligence Standford University Touch

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