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Are Robots Appropriate for Troublesome and Communicative Tasks in a City Environment?

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4 Author(s)
Hayashi, K. ; ATR Intell. Robot. & Commun. Labs., Japan Sci. & Technol. Agency, Kyoto, Japan ; Shiomi, M. ; Kanda, T. ; Hagita, N.

We studied people's acceptance of robots that per- form tasks in a city. Three different beings (a human, a human wearing a mascot costume, and a robot) performed tasks in three different scenarios: endless guidance, responding to irrational complaints, and removing an accidentally discarded key from the trash. All of these tasks involved beings interacting with visitors in troublesome situations: dull, stressful, and dirty. For this paper, 30 participants watched nine videos (three tasks performed by three beings) and evaluated each being's appropriateness for the task and its human-likeness. The results indicate that people prefer that a robot rather than a human perform these troublesome tasks, even though they require much interaction with people. In addition, comparisons with the costumed-human suggest that people's beliefs that a being deserves human rights rather than having a human-like appearance and behavior or cognitive capability is one explanation for their judgments about appropriateness.

Published in:

Autonomous Mental Development, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 2 )