Untrustworthy Robots

Research proves that humans have an inherent trust in bots.

Researchers at Georgia Tech had 42 volunteers follow a seemingly autonomous robot into a conference room. However, the robot was actually guided by a hidden researcher, whose goal was to intentionally lead the test subjects astray in order to establish the bot’s unreliability. 

Yet when the researchers then simulated a building fire, all of the subjects immediately followed the untrustworthy Emergency Guide Robot again, despite the fact that it led them toward the back of the building and away from clearly marked exit signs. The researchers believe that this was due to the fact that the robot was automatically viewed by the volunteers as an “authority figure.”