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Humans prefer faulty robots over perfect ones

Humans apparently like error-prone robots more than they like faultless robots. *** That’s according to new research published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI. *** The study’s researchers purposefully programmed faulty behavior into a robot’s routine. *** They wanted to see if participants would rate the faulty robot different from an error-free robot. *** They also wanted to see which reactions people show in interaction with a faulty robot. *** For the study, researchers used NAO units —- the sometimes cheeky humanoid from Softbank. *** Interestingly, the human participants ended up liking the faulty robot significantly more. *** And there were no differences in people's ratings of the robot's perceived intelligence. *** They just plain liked the error-prone bot, which probably won’t surprise fans of sci-fi. *** The neurotic C-3PO, if not exactly faulty, seems to elicit our grinning sympathy. *** It would seem we feel more positively toward things that are imperfect and human in their actions. *** These findings are significant for the field of social robotics.

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