The Dorian Gray Refutation

The limitations of theories

I finally published an article with a title that could be from The Big Bang Theory: The Dorian Gray Refutation. It is an open peer commentary for the article “Social robots as depictions of social agents” in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences journal. Here is the abstract:

Theories are an integral part of the scientific endeavour. The target article proposes interesting ideas for a theory on human–robot interaction but lacks specificity that would enable us to properly test this theory. No empirical data are yet available to determine its predictive power.

New Zealanders respond to strict regulation of artificial intelligence

What a national survey reveals about AI in New Zealand

We just published the article “Personality and demographic correlates of support for regulating artificial intelligence” in the AI and Ethics journal. We analysed data from the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study survey that collected around 48 thousand responses from New Zealanders. The survey asked them if they support the strict regulation limiting the development and use of Artificial Intelligence. We analysed if the response to this question is related to the respondent’s personality and social economic indicators.

Data revealed that support for strict regulation of AI is positively related with agreeableness, neuroticism, and honesty–humility. However, it is negatively related to openness to experiences. Being female, older, non-European, religious, being single, a parent, living rural, being born in NZ, and living in a more economically deprived region were all related to support for strict regulation of AI. However, how secure one felt in their current job and one’s level of education were not significantly related to their support for the strict regulation of AI.

This study will inform policy makers and technology companies on how New Zealanders feel about AI. You can read the full article for free from this address:

New HRI Podcast: Aldebaran Again

I recorded a new episode of the Human-Robot Interaction Podcast:

Aldebaran Again – Is this the end of Pepper?

Softbank Robotics sold their Nao and Pepper robots to the United Robotics Group (URG) which reversed the name of this business back to its orginal “Aldebaran”. In this episode Dwain Allan and I discuss the uncertain future of Nao and Pepper based on direct correspondence with URG. We try to answer the question whether you should still invest in this robotic platform. Is Aldebaran another zombie robotic company?