ANSWER: Yes and No
In a society in which robots are becoming ever more ubiquitous in a variety of home, workplace, and social settings, it is important to understand how we interact with them. Emily S. Cross at University of Glasgow, within the framework of her SOCIAL ROBOTS ERC Project, is researching several facets of how people perceive and interact with robots in social settings.
By combining neuroscience, psychology and robotics, Prof. Cross and her team are exploring when and how robots are seen as social agents (as opposed to simply machines or tools), how long-term experience or interactions with robots change our impressions of them.
The particularly exciting central aim of the SOCIAL ROBOTS project is to determine whether brain regions implicated in social cognition when we interact with humans can also be engaged when we interact with robots. Prof. Cross and her team are investigating this fundamental question across a range of different populations, ranging from young children to older adults, and across eastern and western cultures.
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