Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


UC researchers believe robots can persuade people to conform

UC researchers believe robots can persuade people to conform

March 24, 2014

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure.

PhD student Juergen Brandstetter has been exploring how a group of robots can actually influence people when their numbers are in the majority.

Brandstetter surveyed almost 50 people in a room, one at a time with four robots. Results were promising and largely confirmed that the robots could encourage a single person to conform with the group.

One of the tests included speaking in the past tense and the evidence from the survey suggested robots can influence language and further influence human opinion.

``Even though each person knew exactly what was right or wrong, the person unintentionally agreed with the group of robots a significant number of times.

``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans. We also found that there is substantial difference between visual and the verbal tasks. But we are convinced robots are capable of changing our behaviour even though they are still not as influential as humans can be.

``We measured the impact robots have on the English language and looked at the conformity rate robots have on people. The results showed that people would follow robots. Robots clearly pushed people into using the wrong English tense.’’

Brandstetter carried out his research under the supervision of Dr Christoph Bartneck from UC’s HIT Lab NZ and support from UC’s New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour and theNorthwestern University of Illinois.

``This research is important to New Zealand and society as the digital ager intensifies. Nearly 160,000 robots were commercially sold worldwide in 2012 and the sale of industrial robots to the automotive industry continues to increase.

``Asia, including Australia and New Zealand, was by far the biggest market with 84,645 industrial robots sold. One of the Government’s 10 National Scientific Challenges announced last year included robotic development. Some New Zealand companies are developing industrial robots.

``We will one day soon see personal robots that could help assist elderly people living alone, or taking care of children and offering information in public places. Japan is the world leader in this area and they are developing robots for their domestic market.

``We already have more mobile phones than humans and that we expect that the ratio of robots to humans on this planet will shift in the future strongly towards a majority of robots.

``Researchers at UC can offer their expertise to industry and work together to create a totally new industry with the obvious benefit to the New Zealand public,’’ Brandstetter says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news