The human-like iCub robot, programmed to interact with humans, deceived people into believing it was self-aware.
Researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology built the child-size iCub with a humanoid face, camera eyes to maintain eye contact, and 53 degrees of freedom so it can complete tasks and emulate human behaviors.
The researchers programmed iCub to engage with human participants as they watched videos, greeting participants as they entered a room and reacting to videos with emotional vocalizations.
In other experiments, iCub acted more like a machine, ignoring nearby humans and making beeping sounds.
The study concluded that participants interacting with the robot's human-like behaviors tended to think it had its own thoughts and desires, supporting the notion that people can form social connections with robots.
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