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"Experimental research in the realm of human-robot interactions has focused on the behavioral and psychological influences affecting human interaction and cooperation with robots. A robot is loosely defined as a device designed to perform agentic tasks autonomously or under remote control, often replicating or assisting human actions. Robots can vary widely in form, ranging from simple assembly line machines performing repetitive actions to advanced systems with no moving parts but with artificial intelligence (AI) capable of learning, problem-solving, communicating, and adapting to diverse environments and human interactions. Applications of experimental human-robot interaction research include the design, development, and implementation of robotic technologies that better align with human preferences, behaviors, and societal needs. As such, a central goal of experimental research on human-robot interactions is to better understand how trust is developed and maintained. A number of studies suggest that humans trust and act toward robots as they do towards humans, applying social norms and inferring agentic intent (Rai and Diermeier, 2015). While many robots are harmless and even helpful, some robots may reduce their human partner’s wages, security, or welfare and should not be trusted (Taddeo, McCutcheon and Floridi, 2019; Acemoglu and Restrepo, 2020; Alekseev, 2020). For example, more than half of all internet traffic is generated by bots, the majority of which are 'bad bots' (Imperva, 2016). Despite the hazards, robotic technologies are already transforming our everyday lives and finding their way into important domains such as healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, customer service, education, and disaster relief (Meyerson et al., 2023)."


ESI Working Paper 23-14



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