The researchers could have had a bit of fun, programming the robot to say "I'll be back..." as it powered down, or start giggling manically if still switched on as the subject left the room.
People are more likely to comply with a robot's impassioned pleas to keep it switched on when the droid has previously been impersonal, than when it's been overly friendly. You might think folks would be less willing to pull the plug on a happy chatty bot begging to stay powered up, but you'd be wrong, much to the relief of us …
I encountered the ever friendly Alexa at an acquaintance's place. Other than asking for "Why did the chicken cross the road?" answers, Its friendliness made me want to through it in the ocean. Overly chatty people are bad enough but it is at least possible to share a beer at the end of the day and tune them out.
Exactly this. The chatty bot is going down no matter what. I have enough chatty folk in the office whom I wish I could at least tune out but they follow when I walk away and seemingly don't notice that I haven't said anything to them other than a polite hello, hopefully in passing.
Let's face it.. chatty is annoying. A chatty robot is even worse because telling it to shut up will probably be ignored. Leaving it on (any robot that communicates) then it is probably listening in and sending everything home to the mothership, or so it seems.
To the robot: "Get off my lawn.". Same for anyone who thinks chatty machines or even the "quiet" robots are good thing.
I also have my doubts about how representative the sample was of the population generally:
For this investigation, psychology academics in Germany rounded up 85 participants – an admittedly small-ish sample – made up of 29 men and 56 women, with an average age of 22.
Which sounds rather like the mix they'd have got if they'd just asked for volunteers from the students in one of their psychology classes.
"Which sounds rather like the mix they'd have got if they'd just asked for volunteers from the students in one of their psychology classes."
Of course. As one of my supervisors said, psychology research is conducted on WEIRD people (white, educated, industrialised, rich, democratic). And many of them are psychology students.
Unsurprising really. As Washoe has demonstrated, you can teach American academics to communicate using sign language, but if you try it with Congolese, they try to kill you.
The factual robot is passive and task-oriented, so one assumes that, having no further orders, it will simply remain on standby like a computer.
The chatty robot on the other hand is active, and thus has to be actively constrained.
One is an appliance, the other a pet. Appliances don't need to be constrained, and their inner workings are often non-obvious (remember subjects telling they were worried switching it off would compromise the test). The pet on the other hand is an independent organism we are used to dominate and control, no matter their begging. Switching the chatty robot off is in the line of putting the cat/dog outside for the night, for instance. Begging is expected, and thus inefficient.
I can't seem to find which group(s) they belonged to, but three people who left the robot on did so simply because they could. While I'd consider it likely one of them was the one who didn't shut off the unobjecting functional robot, without being able to read German(the presented datasheet doesn't translate the comments), I can't rule out the possibility they were clustered together(I'd like to think this would be pointed out if true, but you never know).
Most of us don't like people that are too chatty, at least not when all they do is spout continual inanity. Superficial friendliness is not friendship, and there's only so many conversations about the weather, your latest workout, or that great salad someone had that can be endured. I wish some of my coworkers had an off switch. Or at least a "go away for an hour" button.
this experiment is skewed, one clear scenario is missingg! How about being given this choice to plug it off:
... being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you've gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?
Marvin’s tied them up. He’s put a cassette of his autobiography in their tape machine and left it running. So I think it’s all up with them.
([On autobiography tape]) In the beginning I was made.
[POODOO and PRIEST scream throughout]
([On autobiography tape]) I didn't ask to be made: no one consulted me or considered my feelings in the matter. I don't think it even occurred to them that I might have feelings. After I was made, I was left in a dark room for six months... and me with this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side. I called for succour in my loneliness, but did anyone come? Did they help? My first and only true friend was a small rat. One day it crawled into a cavity in my right ankle and died. I have a horrible feeling it's still there...
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