Societal interactions involve talking to other humans whether it be about personal matters or easy quick conversations. A form of communication that can actually affect the behavior of an individual is trash-talking. Trash-talking is effectively used in sports and gaming to put down others who are against you. This article titled “Researchers Create Trash-Talking Robot That Proves Machines Can Get Under Human’s Skin,” by Andrew Liszewski, shows that the effect of trash-talking can extend beyond human interactions.
Trash-talking affects one’s emotions, so when the idea of a lifeless object being as effective, makes one wonder the implications for its use. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University did this research by programming a robot to trash talk a human opponent in games. Simple phrases like “ I have to say you are a terrible player,” or “Over the course of the game your playing has become confused,” seemed to have an effect on the human opponents. All 40 study participants who played with a robot that insulted them, were found to not score as well and didn’t play better, after playing the game 35 times. This study is startling because we begin to see that technology can affect one’s mental health, and makes one question what other everyday objects that we use can have the same effect.
The results of this study is important because it shows us the effect trash-talking can have on an individual’s emotions through technology. This sheds light on how influential technology and robots could be to humanity one day, and especially on an individuals mental health.They can make a person feel better by responding with positive affirmations, or use negative affirmations to hurt the person’s feelings. With trash-talking, robots don’t know better, but humans consciously partake in it and need to consider the impact it can have on a person.
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