Robots can hurt humans, Having insults hurled our way is never going to do wonders for our self-esteem, but it turns out that disparaging remarks can cut us even when they’re delivered by a robot.
Experts also agreed with the studies.
Lead author Aaron M. Roth said some of the 40 study participants were technically sophisticated and fully understood that a machine was the source of their discomfort.
Researchers typically use this type of game to study “defender-attacker interaction in research on security games.” But for this study, they were able to “explore the uses of game theory and bounded rationality in the context of robots.” That’s a mouthful, we know. But what it essentially means is they were testing to see how humans and robots interact in a non-cooperative environment. While playing each game, the students would either receive praise or taunts from Pepper.
You might think that critical comments from robots – droids only saying what they’ve been programmed to say, with no consciousness or feelings of their own – are the sort of barbs we can easily brush off.
Stuy from IEEE New Delhi
The study, presented last month at the IEEE International Conference on Robot & Human Interactive Communication(RO-MAN) in New Delhi, India, is a departure from typical human-robot interaction studies, which tend to focus on how humans and robots can best work together.
“This is one of the first studies of human-robot interaction in an environment where they are not cooperating, “Robots can hurt humans, says computer scientist Fei Fang, from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
“We can expect home assistants to be cooperative, but in situations such as online shopping, they may not have the same goals as we do.”
The project was part of the researchers’ studies in the school’s “AI Methods for Social Good” course. And while there’s a load of studies and research to still be done along this line, researchers said Pepper’s “ability to prompt responses could have implications for automated learning, mental health treatment and even the use of robots as companions.”