Short Student Talks


Presenter 1: Alap Kshirsagar, Hoffman Research Group

Title: Monetary-Incentive Competition between Humans and Robots: Experimental Results

Abstract: In this talk, I will describe an experiment studying monetary-incentive competition between a human and a robot. In this first of its kind experiment, participants (n=60) competed against an autonomous robot arm in ten competition rounds, carrying out a monotonous task for winning monetary rewards. For each participant, we manipulated the robot’s performance and the reward in each round. We found a small discouragement effect, with human effort decreasing with increased robot performance, significant at the p < 0.005 level. We also found a positive effect of the robot’s performance on its perceived competence, a negative effect on the participants’ liking of the robot, and a negative effect on the participants’ self-competence, all at p<0.0001.
These findings shed light on how people may exert work effort and perceive robotic competitors in a human-robot workforce, and could have implications on labor supply decisions and the design of compensation schemes in the workplace. I will also briefly comment on some experimental and statistical analysis practices that we adhered to in this study.

Presenter 2: Carlos Araújo de Aguiar, Green Research Group

Title: transFORM – A Cyber-Physical Environment Increasing Social Interaction and Place Attachment in Underused, Public Spaces

Abstract: The emergence of social networks and apps has reduced the importance of physical space as a locus for social interaction. In response, we introduce transFORM, a cyber-physical environment installed in under-used, outdoor, public spaces. transFORM embodies our understanding of how a responsive, cyber-physical architecture can augment social relationship and increase place attachment. In this paper we critically examine the social interaction problem in the context of our increasingly digital society, present our ambition, and introduce our prototype which we will iteratively design and test. Cyber-physical interventions at large scale in public spaces are an inevitable future, and this paper serves to establish the fundamental terms of this frontier.