By >Akihabara News Team
Babies See Robots as Sentient, UW Lab Study Shows
Appearing last week on Popular Science is an article about a University of Washington I-LABS study regarding babies’ perceptions regarding sentient beings and mere objects.
Babies can tell the difference between a swiveling chair and a swiveling head on a person, and only follow the gaze of a person, the article says; indeed, babies in a control experiment only followed Morphy‘s gaze three out of sixteen times, whereas babies who first watched a ninety-second skit between Morphy the silver metal humanoid robot and researcher Rechele Brooks followed the robot’s gaze at a nearby toy thirteen out of sixteen times.
The study claims these results mean babies believe a silver robot has psychological agency only if he or she had previously seen the robot interacting with a human. Brings new material to the age-old debate: What is sentience?