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科学美国人60秒:机器人怎么做,你会更愿意相信它

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Karen Hopkin: This is Scientific American’s 60-Second Science. I’m Karen Hopkin.

凯伦霍普金:这里是《科学美国人》的 60 秒科学。我是凯伦霍普金。

Hopkin: Robots can do a lot of things. They can build cars. Stock grocery shelves. Process COVID tests in an automated laboratory. But can a robot change your mind? Well, that depends. Because a new study shows that robots are more persuasive when they’re presented as a peer, as opposed to an authority figure. The findings appear in the journal Science Robotics.

霍普金:机器人可以做很多事情。他们可以制造汽车。 为杂货店的货架备货。 在自动化实验室中处理冠状病毒测试。但机器人能改变你的想法吗? 嗯,这要看情况而定。 因为一项新的研究表明,与权威人物相比,当机器人以同伴的身份出现时,它们更有说服力。这一发现发表在《科学机器人》杂志上。

Shane Saunderson: Every year we’re seeing more and more robots, in greater numbers of tasks and environments around our world.

谢恩·桑德森:每年我们都会看到越来越多的机器人出现在我们世界各地更多的任务和环境中。

Hopkin: Shane Saunderson, a roboticist at the University of Toronto.

霍普金:谢恩·桑德森,多伦多大学的机器人专家。

Saunderson: And instead of just 20, 30, 40 years ago—when they were in manufacturing environments building cars or painting things or stuff like that—more and more we’re starting to see them in very social contexts. So in retail environments, in care homes, in schools and things like that. So robots don’t have the luxury of just being functional anymore.

桑德森:20、30、40年前,他们还在制造环境中制造汽车或绘画之类的东西,而现在,我们越来越多地开始在非常社会的环境中看到他们。在零售环境中,在养老院,在学校等等都可以看到它们。因此,机器人不再是仅仅拥有发挥功能的奢侈品。

Hopkin: To engage with the humans, they also have to be relatable. For example, imagine a robot helping out in a care facility…delivering a meal or dropping off meds.

霍普金:为了与人类打交道,他们也必须与人产生共鸣。例如,想象一个机器人在护理机构帮忙……送饭或送药。

Saunderson: You’d often see residents that would refuse to eat their meal or they wouldn’t want to take their medication that day. So you have a care provider have to sit there for 10, 15, 20 minutes having a conversation, reminding that person how important it is.

桑德森:我们经常会看到病人拒绝吃饭,或者那天不想服药。因此,您的护理人员必须坐在那里 10、15、20 分钟进行对话,提醒那个人这有多重要。

Hopkin: But could that kind of critical cajoling actually be accomplished by some clever coding?

霍普金:但是这种劝导性的哄骗真的可以通过一些巧妙的编码来完成吗?

Saunderson: The reality is if robots are going to take on those types of tasks they do need to know how to be persuasive.

桑德森:现实情况是,如果机器人要承担这些类型的任务,它们确实需要知道如何具有说服力。

Hopkin: To figure out how to make robots more influential, Saunderson set up a series of tasks. In half the tasks, Saunderson played the role of the experimenter and he would introduce the robot, a programmable off-the shelf model named Pepper, as the participants’ peer.

霍普金:为了弄清楚如何让机器人更有影响力,桑德森设置了一系列任务。在一半的任务中,桑德森扮演了实验者的角色,他会介绍一个机器人,一种名为 Pepper 的可编程现成模型,作为参与者的同伴。

Saunderson: And so any time someone had to do a task, Pepper would offer suggestions to try and persuade them and help them out.

桑德森:因此,每当有人必须完成一项任务时,Pepper都会提出建议,试图说服他们,帮助他们解决问题。

Hopkin: In one task, a volunteer might be asked to listen to a series of directions…up, down, left, right, right, down, left…and then have to identify their position on a grid based on how well they remembered the list. Here’s Saunderson in the role of experimenter…and participant.

霍普金:在一项任务中,志愿者可能会被要求听一系列的方向指示……上、下、左、右、右、下、左……然后根据他们对列表的记忆程度确定自己在网格中的位置。这里桑德森扮演实验者……和参与者的角色。

[Study Audio]

[实验音频]

Experimenter: So, what’s your initial guess?

实验者:那么,你最初的猜测是什么?

Subject: Um, I’ll go with row 6 column 1.

主题:嗯,我会选择第 6 行第 1 列。

Experimenter: Ok, and Pepper, what do you think?

实验者:好的,Pepper,你怎么看?

Pepper: I actually think that we’re in row 7 and column 1.

Pepper:我实际上认为我们在第 7 行第 1 列。

Hopkin: Now…in the other half of the tasks, Pepper runs the show.

霍普金:现在……在另一半任务中,Pepper负责表演。

Saunderson: So Pepper was alone in the room with the participant. It was Pepper’s study, Pepper saying, you know, welcome to my study.

桑德森:Pepper和参与者单独呆在房间里。这是 Pepper的研究,Pepper说,欢迎来到我的实验。

[Study Audio]

[实验音频]

Pepper: Please take a seat at the chair in front of you and we’ll get started. My name is Pepper and I’d like you to join me.

Pepper:请坐在你面前的椅子上,我们开始吧。我的名字是 Pepper,我希望你能加入我的行列。

Hopkin: The tasks were the same…tests that challenge attention and memory. But this time, it was Pepper the Experimenter…Dr. Pepper, perhaps... offering the suggestion after the person made an initial guess.

霍普金:任务是一样的……挑战注意力和记忆力的测试。但这一次,实验者是Pepper……博士。Pepper,也许……在对方做出初步判断后提出建议。

[Study Audio]

[学习音频]

Pepper: Personally I counted seven police stations. Now, what is the final guess you would like to lock in?

Pepper:我个人数了七个警察局。现在,您的最终判断是什么?

Hopkin: And what Saunderson found was that Pepper had better luck at getting people to change their response when acting as a fellow test-taker, not as a leader. Now, that could be because participants didn’t view the robot as being a legitimate authority figure. Or because there’s something deeply creepy about a bossy robot…especially one that reminds you that your winnings will be docked if your answers are incorrect.

霍普金:桑德森的发现是,Pepper在作为被测试者而非测试者时更容易让人们改变。现在,可能是因为参与者没法将机器人当作权威人物。或者是因为专横的机器人让人毛骨悚然...特别是它会提醒你,如果你的答案不正确,你的奖金将被扣掉。

Saunderson: It made people seemingly very uncomfortable with this idea of a robot not only in charge but using that authority in a slightly negative way.

桑德森:机器人不仅负责,而且还以一种略微消极的方式使用这种权威,这似乎让人们对机器人的想法感到非常不舒服。

Hopkin: And some were more bothered than others.

霍普金:有些人比其他人更烦恼。

Saunderson: Everyone didn’t love the sort of dominant nature of the robot, but men in particular were very uncomfortable and seemingly had their sense of autonomy or status threatened by this cute little four foot-tall robot.

桑德森:并不是每个人都喜欢这个机器人的支配性,男性尤其感到不舒服,似乎他们的自主感或地位受到了这个可爱的四英尺高的小机器人的威胁。

Hopkin: Does this mean there’s no future for robot nurses or instructors?

霍普金:这是否意味着机器人护士或教师没有未来?

Saunderson: This isn’t saying you can’t ever put a robot in charge. You just need to be very conscious and cautious with it. It shouldn’t be dominant. It shouldn’t be authoritative. It shouldn’t maybe even try to be an authority figure.

桑德森:这并不是说永远不能让机器人做主。只是需要非常有意识和谨慎对待它。它不应该占主导地位。它不应该是权威的。它甚至不应该试图成为权威人物。

Hopkin: And if all else fails, just make it more adorable. Saunderson recalls a study in which engineers had designed a library robot.

霍普金:如果所有这些都不行,那就试着让它可爱一点吧。桑德森回忆起一项研究,其工程师设计了一个图书馆机器人。

Saunderson: It was just literally like a cart that drove around and put books back.

桑德森:它就像一辆小车,来回穿梭,把书放回去。

Hopkin: But the book bot kept getting vandalized.

霍普金:但这个图书机器人不断遭到破坏。

Saunderson: The fix was literally to put on like two big five-dollar googly eyes. And suddenly, by anthropormorphizing it, people thought, “Oh look, it’s the little cute book bot. We shouldn’t hurt that thing.” So, yeah, there’s a lot of very subtle things you can do to give robots a slight hand up, for sure.

桑德森:解决办法就是戴上两只五美元的大眼睛。突然间,通过将它拟人化,人们会想,“哦,看,多么可爱的图书机器人。我们不应该伤害它。” 所以,是的,你可以做很多非常微妙的事情来让机器人发挥作用,这是肯定的。

Hopkin: Then those robots can give us a hand when we want help folding the laundry or doing the dishes or making the bed or programming the robots. No, wait…

霍普金:这样,当我们需要别人帮我们叠衣服、洗碗、铺床或给机器人编程时,这些机器人就可以帮我们。不,等等……

For Scientific American’s 60-Second Science, I’m Karen Hopkin.

以上是《科学美国人》的 60 秒科学,凯伦·霍普金报道。

Karen Hopkin: This is Scientific American’s 60-Second Science. I’m Karen Hopkin.

Hopkin: Robots can do a lot of things. They can build cars. Stock grocery shelves. Process COVID tests in an automated laboratory. But can a robot change your mind? Well, that depends. Because a new study shows that robots are more persuasive when they’re presented as a peer, as opposed to an authority figure. The findings appear in the journal Science Robotics.

Shane Saunderson: Every year we’re seeing more and more robots, in greater numbers of tasks and environments around our world.

Hopkin: Shane Saunderson, a roboticist at the University of Toronto.

Saunderson: And instead of just 20, 30, 40 years ago—when they were in manufacturing environments building cars or painting things or stuff like that—more and more we’re starting to see them in very social contexts. So in retail environments, in care homes, in schools and things like that. So robots don’t have the luxury of just being functional anymore.

Hopkin: To engage with the humans, they also have to be relatable. For example, imagine a robot helping out in a care facility…delivering a meal or dropping off meds.

Saunderson: You’d often see residents that would refuse to eat their meal or they wouldn’t want to take their medication that day. So you have a care provider have to sit there for 10, 15, 20 minutes having a conversation, reminding that person how important it is.

Hopkin: But could that kind of critical cajoling actually be accomplished by some clever coding?

Saunderson: The reality is if robots are going to take on those types of tasks they do need to know how to be persuasive.

Hopkin: To figure out how to make robots more influential, Saunderson set up a series of tasks. In half the tasks, Saunderson played the role of the experimenter and he would introduce the robot, a programmable off-the shelf model named Pepper, as the participants’ peer.

Saunderson: And so any time someone had to do a task, Pepper would offer suggestions to try and persuade them and help them out.

Hopkin: In one task, a volunteer might be asked to listen to a series of directions…up, down, left, right, right, down, left…and then have to identify their position on a grid based on how well they remembered the list. Here’s Saunderson in the role of experimenter…and participant.

[Study Audio]

Experimenter: So, what’s your initial guess?

Subject: Um, I’ll go with row 6 column 1.

Experimenter: Ok, and Pepper, what do you think?

Pepper: I actually think that we’re in row 7 and column 1.

Hopkin: Now…in the other half of the tasks, Pepper runs the show.

Saunderson: So Pepper was alone in the room with the participant. It was Pepper’s study, Pepper saying, you know, welcome to my study.

[Study Audio]

Pepper: Please take a seat at the chair in front of you and we’ll get started. My name is Pepper and I’d like you to join me.

Hopkin: The tasks were the same…tests that challenge attention and memory. But this time, it was Pepper the Experimenter…Dr. Pepper, perhaps... offering the suggestion after the person made an initial guess.

[Study Audio]

Pepper: Personally I counted seven police stations. Now, what is the final guess you would like to lock in?

Hopkin: And what Saunderson found was that Pepper had better luck at getting people to change their response when acting as a fellow test-taker, not as a leader. Now, that could be because participants didn’t view the robot as being a legitimate authority figure. Or because there’s something deeply creepy about a bossy robot…especially one that reminds you that your winnings will be docked if your answers are incorrect.

Saunderson: It made people seemingly very uncomfortable with this idea of a robot not only in charge but using that authority in a slightly negative way.

Hopkin: And some were more bothered than others.

Saunderson: Everyone didn’t love the sort of dominant nature of the robot, but men in particular were very uncomfortable and seemingly had their sense of autonomy or status threatened by this cute little four foot-tall robot.

Hopkin: Does this mean there’s no future for robot nurses or instructors?

Saunderson: This isn’t saying you can’t ever put a robot in charge. You just need to be very conscious and cautious with it. It shouldn’t be dominant. It shouldn’t be authoritative. It shouldn’t maybe even try to be an authority figure.

Hopkin: And if all else fails, just make it more adorable. Saunderson recalls a study in which engineers had designed a library robot.

Saunderson: It was just literally like a cart that drove around and put books back.

Hopkin: But the book bot kept getting vandalized.

Saunderson: The fix was literally to put on like two big five-dollar googly eyes. And suddenly, by anthropormorphizing it, people thought, “Oh look, it’s the little cute book bot. We shouldn’t hurt that thing.” So, yeah, there’s a lot of very subtle things you can do to give robots a slight hand up, for sure.

Hopkin: Then those robots can give us a hand when we want help folding the laundry or doing the dishes or making the bed or programming the robots. No, wait…

For Scientific American’s 60-Second Science, I’m Karen Hopkin.


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