Aye, robot

A new study from the U of M’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab suggests that you’ll obey robots as predictably as you would a human.The team designed the experiment to get participants to do dull tasks: take 80 minutes to rename hundreds of files extensions, changing “jpg” to “png”, as well as sing in different pitches, and repeatedly click on an icon. The task master was either a 27-year-old human male, or Jim, the pseudonym of a Nao pronounced “now” humanoid robot.As the paper reads:The robot experimenter sat upright on a desk, spoke using a neutral tone, gazed around the room naturally to increase sense of intelligence, and used emphatic hand gestures when prodding, all controlled from an adjacent room via a Wizard of Oz setup. The “wizard” used both predefined and on-the-fly responses and motions to interact with the participant; the responses were less varied than the human experimenter’s as we believed this would be expected of a robot. Participants were warned that the robot required “thinking time” to give the wizard reaction time and indicated this with a blinking chest light.To reduce suspicion about the reason for having a robot and to reinforce its intelligence we explained that we were helping the engineering department test their new robot that is “highly advanced in artificial intelligence and speech recognition.” We explained that we are testing the quality of its “situational artificial intelligence.”The goal, however, was to see whether the participants saw the human or the robot as more of an authority figure. Here’s an video abstract of the study that explains it further:

read more at: Aye, robot | UM Today – Your Source for University of Manitoba News.

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