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Science Fiction & Fantasy in Trusting the Bot

Twenty years ago, who would have thought that people would come to trust sensitive machines? Dating back further than Milgram’s 1960 experiments, the automation of large-group compliance has been studied and followed. Trust-building phenomena, although initially thought to develop out of delicate emotional processes, has been extensively researched and broken down into process components by many researchers. Trust between humans and robots becomes necessary as our technological age keeps moving forward. Dangerous situations and undesirable task performance requires that people trust robots, software, and other mechanics of artificial intelligence.

Any one person can develop trust for an assisting machine. The relationship between individuals and thinking machines has been widely studied. Group performance using the assistance of smart machines has also been studied. What about moving to the next step… could an entire company or large workforce be run automatically by a remote robot? The answer may surprise you.

Businesses are known for taking advantage of all available technology. Innovative plans are set in place following the most integrative methods for efficient use of human resources. For just one example that is right in the public’s eye, human resource companies offering employers a chance to hire professionals for occasional or temporary work assignments are making use of such automated management technology. Algorithms decide which contractors are set up with which clients, automated characteristic calculations determine recommendations, and many final matchmaking decisions are made with no human input whatsoever.

Are you ready to trust the bot? Professional studies show that we are… to a degree. If we can program constitutional-rights abiding bots, then let’s move forward. The next questions will be legal, such as, who will take responsibility for decisions made by software? Consequences and responsibilities are yet to be determined in courts of law, while technology moves forward at a much faster pace than average bureaucracies can handle. Delicate balances of freedom, safety, and security all play a role in upcoming discussions, and thankfully, we are all free to participate, so long as there are open rights to an easily accessible online world-wide communication.

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Thanks for reading,
Jeanie

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