Humans, Robots, and Feelings

We love machines. You probably do, too. Many people love their cars, their home appliances, or their phones.

But some researchers have taken the trouble to measure the results of human-machine relationships and the feelings involved in them.

Experimental subjects (42 of them) were asked to team up with a robot to play a game. The robots were programmed to elicit various feelings. Some had human-like behavior. Some were agreeable and some were unpleasant.

At one point in the experiment, the subjects were told to turn off the machine. While all the subjects did so, some negotiated with the robots first. Some argued with them, explained their behavior, apologized, and otherwise interacted with the machines.

It took subjects a lot longer to get around to turning off cute little cat-like robots that said, “You don’t have to do this.”

The human’s behavior toward the machine, in other words, depended on the machine’s behavior toward the person.

The machine’s behavior depended on its programming, not on the human’s behavior.

Keep this in mind next time your Rexroth Indramat servomotor acts up. Don’t get upset, don’t try to negotiate with it, just call (479) 422-0390. We can help you out right away.

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