Dogs are happy to socialize with robots, though humans are better (video)

From PopSci we learn that dogs are willing to interact with social robots, but not as well as they do with humans:

In the centuries-old best friendship between dogkind and humankind, humans are apparently easily replaced with robots. Seemingly loyal canines are totally willing to interact with cold, hard machines, according to a new study in Animal Cognition, gazing lovingly at their robot faces and finding hidden foodstuffs that the robot pointed to. Robots, stop taking things away from us!

The study investigated whether or not dogs would be willing to interact with an unfamiliar robot. It found that the dogs would interact with a cyborg–if the robot seemed like a social being, as evidence by its ability to talk to the dog and its owner.

astro-rosie-dog-robot

The study did however find that the dog still reacted better with humans.  So basically, the dog will sell you out to the eventual robot overlords, though he might not enjoy it as much as he enjoys you.  (Did I say “overlords”? I meant “protectors.“)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • glenmarco51

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  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    It is true that any sensible dog will take treats from a robot, but I seriously doubt that a dog will curl up with a robot for a tummy rub and a good nap.

  • tamarz

    actually, I think it’s all about treats. It didn’t look like the dog cared one way or the other about the robot — just as a sign post to a treat. The humans in the videos were the ones the dogs cared about. The dogs didn’t go up to the robot for a pat or a “good dog” the way my dogs would have with anyone in our family (all family members are non-robot).

  • ArthurH

    Interact with robots? Call me old-fashioned but I agree with Alfred Hitchcock. In one of the lead-ins to his old TV program a St. Bernard with a brandy keg around its neck walks into the scene. Says Hitchcock to the audience, “Oh look! It’s man’s best friend. And a dog too.”

  • NCMan

    I’ve always been more impressed that anyone could get the shark costume onto the cat and still have all ten fingers and their face intact afterward.

  • HeartlandLiberal

    My cats would never betray me in this fashion.

    Or then again maybe…

  • nobonesl

    OK,now we gotta’ have a study about cats & robots.
    When do we get the results?

  • emjayay

    Aw, c’mon. I’m sure a dog would get used to a good robot and actually pretty soon learn to like it, but this human shaped mechanized pointer isn’t that. False advertising

  • PeteWa

    humans socialize well with robot pets, too:
    http://www.parorobots.com/

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