Robot- Human interaction with Personalities Involved
Human- Robot interaction is the interaction between a human and a robot. These situations are becoming prevalent now more than ever and it is important that these robots can imitate the personality of the person they are communicating with for optimal comfort in the interaction. To do this robot specialists and engineers are programming robots to be either extroverts or introverts to make these interactions seamless.
Personality. Your personality is “ the special combination of qualities in a person that makes that person different from others, as shown by the way the person behaves, feels, and thinks”(Cambridge Dictionary). Extroverted and introverted are the two main categories for personality along with another group of people who are both. A person who falls into the extroverted category would be known as “having a disposition that is energized through social engagement and languishes or chafes in solitude, resulting in a personality that is gregarious, outgoing, and sociable.” (Dictionary.com). On the Opposing side a introverted person would be known as “having a disposition that is taxed by social engagement and energized by calm environments, resulting in the preference for quiet solitude.”(dictionary.com). Some people fall in between these categories Having both introverted and extroverted tendencies.
Some studies show that people who are extroverted like to interact with other people like them (extroverts) and introverts like to interact with people who are also introverted. When looked at closer, some even described being uncomfortable when talking to people of the opposite personality type.
These ideas of personality and social interactions between them have become a topic in the relation to robots. With robots becoming more and more advanced and some robots even being programmed to work in desk job positions or be front desk service it is important that people don’t feel uncomfortable when speaking to these robots. This poses the question that if we give robots personalities will interactions with robots seem more normal and personalized?
Robots are machines resembling a human being and able to replicate certain human movements and functions automatically. So no technically we can’t give robots personality but we can replicate them. By taking traits of extroverted or introverted people and programming the robots to act and respond accordingly to certain personalities. For example if a robot was approached by an extroverted person and can intake the ques of loud, confident, and engaging in conversation they may respond by also raising their voice and continuing the conversation and socially engage in other small talk as well. Whereas for example an introvert approaching a robot may seem timid, low in voice, and avoid direct eye contact the robot could also tone down themselves and not engage in any other conversation besides ones pertaining to the service that robot may be offering.
Although some people just don’t take well to robots. In the study, The Law of Attraction in Human- Robot Interaction ” we find that some people were just uncomfortable talking to the personalized robots at all. In this study people were matched by personality to a robot of similar personality as well as a robot with opposing personality. Important to note that these robots do have facial expressions which is a huge part in making robots more personable as well as closer to showing emotions. When introverts were paired with both robots the introverts were drawn to the introverted robot whereas when the extroverts were paired with both robots they were more drawn to the extroverted robot.
As of right now robots have personality capabilities but can not switch from introverted to extroverted when programmed. Meaning once a robot is an “extrovert” it will stay like that and won’t be able to switch its personality if faced with an introvert. This however is the same as humans. In your everyday life you come across people of opposing personalities and you manage to navigate through conversations with them, so is robot personality necessary, no. But as the study on human- robot interaction found, people were more comfortable and relaxed when interacting with people like them, and uncomfortable when speaking to those not like them. So having robots with personalities like your own would make your everyday interactions more comfortable and bearable.
Introverts as anti-social beings would benefit more from this than extroverts. It is in an extroverted nature to be outgoing and conversate with anyone, even those like them. But introverts are people who struggle socializing and struggle talking to people who are social. If these introverted robots took the place of extroverted people, introverts would be more likely to interact because they feel more comfortable. Some Introverts describe their social interactions as giving them social anxiety. Social anxiety disorder is an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. This fear can affect work, school, and other daily activities.(National Institute of mental health)
Social anxiety in no way will be cured or fixed by this but it will drop the situations in which people feel socially anxiety. This however may backfire because there will also be extroverted robots around. In this case some will argue that we can put labels so people know which robot has which personality. This would eliminate most confusion other than those who are blind.
Robot- Human Interactions will benefit from robots with personalities, especially personalities similar to the human they are interacting with. Socializing with people similar to you is proven to be favored over people who aren’t like you which when applied to robots will give the same effect. These robots will make humans feel more comfortable in social interactions and help those who struggle in social environments feel less anxious about them.