Human-like robot tricks people into believing it has a mind of its own

Human-like robot tricks people into believing it has a mind of its own

Study co-author Agnieszka Wykowska pictured with the deceptively “self-aware” iCub robot. (Image credit: Italian Institute of Technology)

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A strangely human-like robot that had been programmed to interact socially with human companions tricked people into thinking the dumb machine was self-aware, according to a new study.

The digital deceiver, which the researchers dubbed “iCub”, is a child-sized humanoid robot created by the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa to study social interactions between humans and robots. This advanced android, which stands 1.1 meters tall, has a human-like face, camera eyes that can maintain eye contact with people, and 53 degrees of freedom that allow it to complete tasks complex and mimic human behavior. Researchers can program iCub to act in remarkably human-like ways, as demonstrated by its 2016 appearance on Italy has talent (opens in a new tab) when the robot performed Tai Chi moves and wowed the judges with its clever conversational skills.

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