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Nearly one in three men would like a robot for a buddy – but women are not so keen.

A survey of 5,000 adults into attitudes to artificial intelligence shows 28% of men would be happy to have an AI companion.

But that dropped to only 13% of women when they were asked the same question.

The YouGov poll for think tank Theos also showed that one in ten men would prefer a robot to a human surgeon to operate on them compared to just four in 100 women.

Kathleen Richardson, Professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots at De Montfort University, said: “Unfortunately, technology in these areas is being significantly shaped by men who have a very particular set of assumptions, motivations, priorities and goals.

“All too often, these risk excluding women and eroding human relations in a way that will ultimately harm both men and women.”

A fifth of men reckon that robots will need to be covered by human rights in the future compared to only one in eight women.

Nick Spencer of Theos said: “Artificial Intelligence is one of the fastest moving scientific areas and is increasingly asking penetrating questions about what it means to be human.”

Theos teamed up with the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion on a three year project to study public attitudes to faith and science.

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