With her research on human-to-human social interactions firmly established, NYU Abu Dhabi Assistant Professor of Psychology Susanne Quadflieg has expanded her focus to include interactions of a less conventional nature — those between humans and robots. She recently spoke to The National about this research and in its May 16 article, "Together in electric dreams: competing visions of the robotic future," Quadflieg shares some outcomes of her studies thus far.
As she said, "Robots began as machines mainly made for manufacturing, but they are increasingly becoming companions in supporting us in everyday life. Whether this is a welcome development is less certain." It is precisely these levels of uncertainty that Quadflieg documents, sharing that many study participants report feelings of uneasiness when shown robots asking for a dance or offering a hug.
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