13 July 2008

People Prefer Humanoids, Naturally

"They indicated that the more humanlike the opponent was, the more they had perceived fun during the game and they more attributed intelligence to their opponent," Krach said. Source
Who would you rather play games with? A computer that looks like a computer, or a computer that looks and acts like a human? In a recent study published at PLOSOne, people seemed to like interacting with humanoids best.
By means of functional magnetic resonance imaging (subjects n = 20) we investigated cortical activity modulation during highly interactive human-robot game. Increasing degrees of human-likeness for the game partner were introduced by means of a computer partner, a functional robot, an anthropomorphic robot and a human partner.

Irrespective of the surmised interaction partners' responses participants indicated having experienced more fun and competition in the interaction with increasing human-like features of their partners... _Technovelgy
Why do you suppose this is? Systems design engineer John Zelek speculates:
"The more anthropomorphic the robot is, supposedly the more we're attentive to it."...He noted that people have a pre-wired disposition to be attracted to human faces. _CBC
Of course, this brings up inevitable questions about what it will mean when robots become so lifelike that people want to start having sex with them. If a man has sex with a robo-prostitute, will he be cheating on his wife?
...what about the partner left at home? Because these dolls are so human, waving goodbye to your man as he heads off to the cyber-brothel might not be so easy. The erotic part of sex, after all, occurs in the mind, and the only reason to use a full sized fake woman is to pretend you are with a real woman. _Wired
Will humans go so far as to fall in love with, and possibly even marry a robot? Robo-sex guru David Levy thinks it is inevitable.
Robots will make attractive companions capable of fulfilling us sexually and emotionally by 2050, thanks to advances in their appearance, senses, personalities and capacity to fall in love, says artificial intelligence expert David Levy. _CTV
My own household android, Valerie, has been pestering me for certain "upgrades" to her system. While I have been successful in blocking her access to the Al Fin administrative site, I often catch her watching porn videos on the internet, despite the fact that neither her android brain nor her android body are outfitted for sexual activity or release. I suppose she is just naturally curious.

First published at Al Fin, You Sexy Thing

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger kurt9 said...

I am the exact opposite of most people described in these studies you reference. You see, I view computers and robots as tools, as extensions of myself that I use to do the things that I want to do. I prefer my machines and robots not to look human so that I can think of them more as extensions of myself rather than as separate but equivalent humans.

So, I consider the idea of a humanoid robot to be creepy. The idea of having sex with a humanoid robot, no matter how life-like it is, is especially creepy to me.

There are humans and there are machines. I prefer not to mix the two up.

Sunday, 13 July, 2008  
Blogger Will Brown said...

I don't find the results from the linked-to study to be at all surprising. Humans are competitive by nature - most so with each other. We take many clues from the physical reactions of our opponents - particularly the facial cues. "Fun" is entirely subjective, of course, but the most enjoyment derives from winning competitions with those percieved to be equal or slightly superior to ourselves.

The more an opponent apparently resembles us, the better we believe ourselves able to interpret it's actions and responses. I believe this will become a critical consideration for AI interface designers of the future.

Additionally, the closer to meeting our human-like expectations those become (actions and responses), the more likely we each are to personally identifying with and accepting the AI as an independent entity.

No offense to fellow commenter Kurt, but his response is example of one of the specific reactions to AI that needs to be resolved before too very much longer. If we wish to avoid human/AI conflict, at least. Tools are things that we create and use. Non-human intellects may develop from our creative efforts; to what purpose and end will largely determine the nature of that relationship.

Useing others to our own ends always results in conflict with those others. We call agreeing to be used alliances or partnerships, but we only enter into such with percieved near-equals. We don't consult our hammers over which nail to hit first, nor our adjustable wrench in the absence of a hammer. :)

The Technological Singularity concept envisions greater-than-human-intellect AI. Do we really want to begin our relationship with such on a confrontational basis? I suggest that this David Brin missive lends credence to the belief that such an entity will be developed by someone, whatever our personal belief or feeling might be.

Sunday, 13 July, 2008  

Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts