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Bots Are More Successful If They Impersonate Humans

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humanoid robot with green eyes

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, along with colleagues in the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates, found that bots are more successful at certain human-machine interactions, but only if they are allowed to hide their non-human identity.

The researchers asked nearly 700 volunteers in an online cooperation game to interact with a human or an artificial partner. In the game, known as the prisoner's dilemma, players can either act in their own self-interest to exploit the other player, or act cooperatively with advantages for both sides. However, some of the participants interacting with another human were told they were playing with a bot, and vice versa.

The researchers found that bots impersonating humans were more successful in convincing their gaming partners to cooperate. However, as soon as they revealed their true identity, cooperation rates decreased.

From Max Planck Institute for Human Development
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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