Fascinating. It shouldn’t be too surprising to hear that human’s are very susceptible to suggestion by authority figures when being asked to remember events such as police questioning. But apparently, this new study found that if the identical words are used for questioning but delivered by a robot (I don’t know if it was a disembodied robotic voice or some physical robot) then this influence disappears. I assume there would still be lots of ways to bias the witness by the text of questions you ask but a huge amount of the influence comes from reading cues and listening to the human voice. So, chalk that up for another future career under threat from robots: Interrogator.
New Scientist: Robot inquisition keeps witnesses on the right track.
Discussion on G+
Posted by Mark Crowley on February 10, 2013
Baby robot learns first words from human teacher – tech – 15 June 2012 – New Scientist
I’m always glad to see more methods from research in Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning getting coverage in the media and being explained with some level of detail. Take a look at these two articles on applications of Artificial Intellgience methods in the study of the learning language in infants and in the effects of psychedelic drugs diagnosis. They give a nice high level overview of two powerful approaches that are not quite standard in AI and Machine Learning. The language learning robot is doing supervised learning with reinforcement learning approach where the agent randomly explores a landscape and weights good experiences to improve it’s model. The drugs study is applying a classifier to text descriptions about psychedelic trips and trying to predict the drug that causes it.
Posted by Mark Crowley on June 16, 2012