A SoftBank Robotics Pepper robot was used in the two robot conditions
New research has shown robots can encourage humans to take greater risks in a simulated gambling scenario than they would if there was nothing to influence their behaviours. Increasing our understanding of whether robots can affect risk-taking could have clear ethical, practical and policy implications, which this study set out to explore.
Dr Yaniv Hanoch, Associate Professor in Risk Management at the University of Southampton who led the study explained, “We know that peer pressure can lead to higher risk-taking behaviour. With the ever-increasing scale of interaction between humans and technology, both online and physically, it is crucial that we understand more about whether machines can have a similar impact.”
This new research, published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, involved 180 undergraduate students taking the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), a computer assessment that asks participants to press the spacebar on a keyboard to inflate a balloon displayed on the screen. With each press of the spacebar, the balloon inflates slightly, and 1 penny is added to the player’s “temporary money bank”. The balloons can explode randomly, meaning the player loses any money they have won for that balloon and they have the option to “cash-in” before this happens and move on to the next balloon.
One-third of the participants took the test in a room on their own (the control group), one third took the test alongside a robot that only provided them with the instructions but was silent the rest of the time and the final, the experimental group, took the test with the robot providing instruction as well as speaking encouraging statements such as “why did you stop pumping?”
The results showed that the group who were encouraged by the robot took more risks, blowing up their balloons significantly more frequently than those in the other groups did. They also earned more money overall. There was no significant difference in the behaviours of the students accompanied by the silent robot and those with no robot.
Dr Hanoch said: “We saw participants in the control condition scale back their risk-taking behaviour following a balloon explosion, whereas those in the experimental condition continued to take as much risk as before. So, receiving direct encouragement from a risk-promoting robot seemed to override participants’ direct experiences and instincts.”
The researcher now believe that further studies are needed to see whether similar results would emerge from human interaction with other artificial intelligence (AI) systems, such as digital assistants or on-screen avatars.
Dr Hanoch concluded, “With the wide spread of AI technology and its interactions with humans, this is an area that needs urgent attention from the research community.”
“On the one hand, our results might raise alarms about the prospect of robots causing harm by increasing risky behavior. On the other hand, our data points to the possibility of using robots, and AI, in preventive programs such as anti-smoking campaigns in schools, and with hard to reach populations, such as addicts.”
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Human interaction with AI
- Artificial intelligence puts focus on the life of insectson January 12, 2021 at 8:56 am
Scientists are combining artificial intelligence and advanced computer technology with biological know how to identify insects with supernatural speed. This opens up new possibilities for describing u ...
- Avaya Expanding AI-powered Contact Center Capabilities to Improve Customer Experience, Participating with AWS Contact Center Intelligenceon January 12, 2021 at 7:26 am
Avaya (NYSE: AVYA), a global leader in solutions to enhance and simplify communications and collaboration, today announced an expansion of its artific ...
- CES 2021 NUWA's robot innovates learning with social interactionon January 12, 2021 at 6:43 am
NUWA Robotics Corp. is a technology company that focuses on AI robot development. Its latest robot Kebbi Air provides a creative way ...
- How UiPath Grew from a Small Romanian Startup to a Global Leader in AI-powered Automation Worth $10.2 Billionon January 12, 2021 at 5:03 am
UiPath went from a Romanian-based startup to a global powerhouse in the AI-powered automation market, valued today at 10.2 billion. Here’s how they did it.
- Why IT professionals are concerned about the rise of AIon January 12, 2021 at 12:12 am
AI is quickly automating numerous areas of the technology workplace, and many IT professionals fear becoming redundant as a result. Are these concerns justified?
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Human interaction with AI
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- “The robot told me to do it”: robots encourage risky behavioron January 11, 2021 at 8:46 pm
Research shows that when there is a robot that encourages risky behavior, most people do it without too much hesitation. This poses problems on the power of influence and suggestion by algorithms and ...
- How to make money fast: Vanguard Tips on investor behaviour, portfolioon January 7, 2021 at 8:48 pm
Investors have different levels of knowledge and interest in investing. While some are savvy enough to create their own investment strategies, others may need help. In either case, having a way to ...
- Hope Can Save People From Making Bad Choices: Studyon January 7, 2021 at 6:39 am
Hope may help prevent you from doing things that aren't good for you, a new study claims. The investigators wanted to find out why some people are more likely to fall into risky behaviors, such as ...
- Does alcohol consumption play a role in the spread of HIV among older adults in South Africa?on January 5, 2021 at 3:18 pm
A study by HAALSI researchers finds that increased and more frequent alcohol consumption among older adults in South Africa is linked with higher levels of sexual risk taking, patterns of behavior ...
- How Hope Can Make You Happier With Your Lot in Lifeon January 3, 2021 at 6:17 am
Having hope for the future could protect people from risky behaviors such as drinking and gambling — according to new research from the University of East Anglia. Researchers studied 'relative ...