Children will soon want to ditch their human best friend to spend time with a ROBOT instead

Children could soon be ditching their human best friends to spend time with a robot instead, a scientists has warned according to Daily mail.

It comes as a survey claims a fifth of youngsters aged between five and 18-years-old say they expect to become friends with a robot in the future.

Some are already turning to artificial intelligence for company, with eight per cent saying they talk to voice-activated assistants, like they would a friend.

Professor Angelo Cangelosi, said it was likely that young people growing up with AI and robot technology today would develop closer relationships with them in the future.

He said: 'Robots of today are a fascinating preview of how we might be living our lives tomorrow.

'From companions capable of reading our expressions and remembering previous conversations, to domestic home-helps that can go to the shops for us, it is really just a matter of time until we see 'deep learning' technologies being integrated into robotics that will transform their capabilities.'

The survey of 1,246 young people, found a quarter of young people currently use AI assistants at home while 41 per cent have one on their phone.

But the survey also suggests that many children feel their education is not helping them get ready them for a future where AI and robots will be part of everyday life.

More than a third said they do not feel adequately prepared for working with technology and computers later in life.

James Law, said: 'The research suggests that children may need to think more carefully about their options to prepare them for the world of work.

'What's clear is that almost every job will require a degree of understanding about how robots and AI work, so in that sense it has never been more important that young people consider engineering in their careers.

'From fighting diseases and recovering from natural disasters to renewable energy and manufacturing, engineering is a way for young people to pursue their interests.'

The research also revealed that young people have fewer concerns about the threat posed by robots in the future compared to adults.

Previous surveys have suggested more than half of adults are worried about the impact of AI machines on their jobs.

But just 14 per cent of 9-18 year olds in the new survey were nervous about robots in the workplace while a third said they would actively welcome the chance to work alongside robots.

Just over a quarter of the youngsters questioned anticipate that robots will take on many of the mundane jobs humans currently enjoy doing.

Strangely, girls were more worried about working with robots with 19 per cent of them saying they would be compared to just nine per cent of boys.

Beth Elgood, added: 'Engineers are, and will continue to be, at the forefront of technological innovation such as robots and AI, developments which will play an increasing role in all of our personal and working lives.'