There's certainly been no shortage of studies involving humans' interaction with robots, but a team of researchers from the University of Washington's Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences have now made one of the most shocking discoveries to date: babies can be tricked into believing robots are sentient. They made this finding by acting out a skit with a remote-controlled robot in which the robot behaves friendly with its human counterpart. Following the skit, they left the baby alone with the robot and found that in 13 out of 16 cases the baby followed the robot's gaze, which suggests the baby believed it was sentient. In contrast, babies only interacted with the robot in 3 of 16 cases when they were simply left alone with it without first seeing it interact with a human. What does it all mean? Well, it seems that a robot's human-like appearance is less important than its behavior when it comes to establishing trust -- or that all the robots need to do to take over is get us while we're young. One of the two.
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