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

 

Prefu Roundup: Forecasts Revised, Surplus Intact

The National government heads into the election with its Budget surplus target broadly intact, delivering a set of economic and fiscal forecasts marginally revised from May to reflect weaker commodity prices and a lower tax take. More>>

ALSO:

Convention Centre: Major New SkyCity Hotel And Laneway For Auckland

Today SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited revealed plans to build a new hotel and pedestrian laneway of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping on land it owns in the Nelson and Hobson Streets block, expanding the SKYCITY Entertainment Precinct. More>>

ALSO:

Igniting The Spark: Bringing The Digital Enabler To Life

Changing a name is, relatively speaking, the easy part of a re-invention. Changing a culture, getting all the ducks in a row, turning yourself inside-out to become customer-inspired is a much bigger challenge. More>>

ALSO:

Ebola And NZ: Targeted Screening At Airport But Risk Low

The risk of any cases of Ebola in New Zealand remains very low, but health and border authorities are well prepared... anyone arriving in New Zealand who in the last three weeks has visited countries affected will be screened for symptoms of the disease. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Brewer Seeking Crowd-Funding Cancels Shareholders’ Dividends

Shareholders in Renaissance Brewing company, the first business to seek equity through crowd-funding in New Zealand, have cancelled their claim on $147,000 of accumulated earnings “to make Renaissance a more attractive investment opportunity.” More>>

ALSO:

It's Spark Now:
Why Telecom Wanted To Change

New Zealand led the world when Chorus demerged from Telecom. It gave us a telecommunications industry structure where the network is completely separated from the products and services it delivers. The changes brought about a new market dynamic and it dramatically changed Telecom’s role. More>>

ALSO:

Glass Half Empty: Dairy Prices Fall To Lowest Since 2012

Dairy product prices slumped to the lowest level since October 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, paced by whole milk powder and cheddar. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news