Despite the plethora of science fiction where humans befriend robots of many forms, in reality the prospect of being friends with a robot is too much for most people.
In a survey by YouGov analysed by OnBuy.com, two-thirds of British adults said they either definitely or probably would not be friends with a robot in the future.
This varied slightly by gender. 37% of men and 47% of women said they definitely would not make friends with a robot, while 31% of men and 30% of women said they probably wouldn’t.
By contrast, just 3% of men and 1% of women said they thought they definitely would be friends with a robot in the future, while 7% of men and 2% of women said they probably would.
This aversion to robotic intimacy goes further when it comes to the prospect of a romantic relationship with a robot.
93% of women and 82% of men said they would not engage in such a relationship.
Most wouldn’t be friends with a robot, but what about colleagues?
While being mates with a robot is too much for most people, the idea of having one as a colleague, something that is becoming increasingly likely in some industries, is more widely supported – although not by much.
33% of men and 22% of women stated they would be comfortable having a robotic colleague, however, 54% of men and 65% of women said they would uncomfortable with the prospect.
The idea of robotic managers prompts even greater aversion, with just 20% of men and 12% of women saying they would be either fairly or very comfortable with the idea.
This is despite previous research that found that a third of UK employees think a robot would do a better job than their current human manager, suggesting that any form of manager prompts dislike for many British workers.