They paused before speaking, due to the time required for the researcher to type what they heard into the chat-bot and then speak the response out-loud to the shadower.

Mom adult chatbot-26

Others thought that the study was about people with autism or a speech impairment.

In other words, while unsuspecting people are unlikely to guess that an echoborg is a chat-bot, they sense that they’re not a normal human being.

This may have been partly because of the fact that the echoborgs had very slow reactions.

Here’s how it works: In one room, a normal person (‘interactant’) sits down with another person, the ‘shadower’. They were simply told: That the study concerned how strangers conversed when speaking for the first time, that it involved simply holding a 10-min conversation with another research participant, and that they were free to decide on topics for discussion so long as vulgarity was avoided.

The researcher made no mention of chat bots or of anything related to artificial intelligence.

Furthermore, the participant was given no indication that their interlocutor would behave non-autonomously or abnormally.

In the Text Chat condition, 14 of 21 (67%) of participants mentioned (prior to the researcher making any allusion to chat bots or anything computer-related) that they felt they had spoken to a computer program or robot…

Last year I blogged about the creepy phenomenon of cyranoids. To meet an echoborg is to meet chat-bot, in other words – but without knowing it.

A cyranoid is a person who speaks the words of another person. The researcher then reads this response into a microphone, and the shadower listens to the response via a hidden earpiece. As Corti and Gillespie put it, echoborgs So the authors conducted a study in which 41 adult volunteers met and conversed with a stranger.

With the help of a hidden earpiece, a ‘source’ whispers words into the ear of a ‘shadower’ , who repeats them. A researcher in another room is listening in on what the interactant says, via a hidden microphone, and types the interactant’s words into a chat-bot program. Unbeknownst to them, the stranger’s words were being controlled by a chat-bot (either Cleverbot, Rose, or Mitsuku).

In research published last year, British psychologists Kevin Corti and Alex Gillespie showed that cyranoids are hard to spot: if you were speaking to one, you probably wouldn’t know it, even if the source was an adult and the shadower a child, or vice versa. The conversation was conducted either via text chat, or face-to-face (i.e. The volunteers were not told about the presence of the chat-bot.