Humans do not find robots sexually attractive... That's what we thought until a recent study proved otherwise. Scientists from Stanford University found that people get physiologically aroused when touching the naughty bits of AI-controlled automatons.
Their privates may just be wires and plastic but it turns out that doesn't stop us, meaning we could be closer to what science fiction has explored.
A Nao robot was programmed to ask ten volunteers to either point or touch one of 13 body parts. During this, the team measured the skin conductance of each subject for signals that correlate to being turned on.
When asked to touch the genital or buttock areas (rather amusingly called "body parts with low accessibility"), the team found subjects gave the strongest arousal response. Simply pointing at areas gave no signal, whereas touching slightly more innocent areas gave a lower response.
"Our work shows that robots are a new form of media that is particularly powerful. It shows that people respond to robots in a primitive, social way," researcher Jamy Li commented. "Social conventions regarding touching someone else's private parts apply to a robot's body parts as well. This research has implications for both robot design and theory of artificial systems."
The results will be presented at the International Communication Association in Japan this June.