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“The Robot Made Me Do It”: Research Finds AI Encourages Risk-Taking Behavior

Good news for people that like to make terrible decisions and avoid taking responsibility: robot scapegoats are here.

According to a new academic paper published by the University of Southampton on December 11, robots can actually encourage risk-taking behavior in humans. The study was led by Dr Yaniv Hanoch, Associate Professor in Risk Management at the University of Southampton. The paper was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 

The study involved 180 undergraduate students who were given a computer assessment that measured how likely they would be to “press their luck” in situations where they were awarded money and had the option to keep going, facing potential losses, or take the money and run. 

“One-third of the participants took the test in a room on their own (the control group), one third took the test alongside a robot that only provided them with the instructions but was silent the rest of the time and the final, the experimental group, took the test with the robot providing instruction as well as speaking encouraging statements…”

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