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January 29, 2024
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Robots mastering slang may aid AI’s controlling advantage over humans.


– A recent study in Germany examined the relationship between language and trustworthiness in humans’ perceptions of robots.
– The study found that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether humans prefer robots to speak in a standard language or a local dialect.
– People’s preferences for dialects in robots are influenced by their own personal preferences and experiences.
– The type of device a person is using (mobile vs PC) also influenced their preferences for dialects in robots.
– This research demonstrates that the dialect a robot speaks in can impact a person’s trust in the robot.

A team of researchers in Germany conducted a study to determine whether humans would trust a robot more if it spoke in a standard language or in a local dialect. The study consisted of showing videos of a small robot speaking in both a Berlin dialect and standard German to a group of 120 German native speakers. Participants were then asked to indicate which dialect seemed more trustworthy. The researchers found that there was no clear consensus among the participants. Some preferred the standard language, while others liked the local dialect. The researchers attributed this discrepancy to personal preferences and experiences of the participants. They also found that the type of device a person was using affected their preferences. Those using mobile devices tended to prefer standard German, while PC users showed some inclination towards the dialectic speaker. The researchers suggest that this could be due to the cognitive load of using different devices. This research highlights the importance of considering language and dialects when designing robots, as it can impact users’ trust in the machines.

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