Teams of three people and one robot that works in a scenario of playing a tablet-based game together. All in the team including the robot has to play successfully or they will lose a round. In the teamwork with the robot, it is taking on different approaches in different teams including apologizing for its mistakes, staying neutral or staying silent. A Yale-based study has then looked at how the different approaches affect human-to-human interaction. Margaret L. Traeger, a PhD candidate in sociology, explains:
“In this case, we show that robots can help people communicate more effectively as a team.”
As the results show that teams where the robot made vulnerable statements by apologizing for its own mistakes by making jokes or telling a personal story the human-to-human conversation doubled. These teams also were enjoying the game more than the others. The conversation was also evenly distributed among the human team-members in the groups with a vulnerable or a neutral robot. Totally 153 people participated that were divided into 51 groups in the experiment.
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