IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2019 - 53

less approval. This result provides additional supporting
evidence for those studies that have highlighted the
influence of the tendency to anthropomorphize robots
in providing or encouraging a social connection where
and when this is lacking [25], [31], [32]. Further research
is necessary to assess the role of anthropomorphism
more accurately in affecting robot trust, in connection
with different scenarios of advanced robotics. It could
be also useful to further address robot anthropomorphism in relation to the Uncanny Valley Theory [33], in
line with recent research [34]. Moreover, this theory still
interesting today was established in 1970, hence it
needs to be updated consistent with actual advanced
abilities to design anthropomorphic robots.
For Section C, which addressed respondents' attitudes
toward robot dependability, the data showed that reliability, that is the continuity of correct service by a machine,
was considered an essential factor for the majority of the
sample. This data further reinforces trends previously
indicated in the literature indicating that higher trust is
associated with higher reliability [20]. Moreover, results
seem to predict on the one hand a growing trend in
desire by consumers that products be reliable. On the
other, the results also support the need for additional
investment to improve trust in machines and to promote
steps that will be required to achieve this.

■

This study provided a lens for conceptualizing the need
to rebuild a view of technology as a human act rather
than as a system having an autonomous configuration.
In this regard, it is useful to make reference to what the
AI HLEG said about robustness from a technical and
social perspective, as taking into account both the
objective and the subjective side of trust for an adequate assessment of trustworthiness.
Given the distrust the sample showed toward others
along with a propensity to be trustful in general, it seems
to be useful to improve trust among younger people, in
order to increase and maintain confidence in roboticists
and in robotic machines themselves. For this purpose,
the suggestions that come from AI HLEG regarding the
ethical nature of the system could play an important role,
as long as the system is integrated with a truly European
ethical framework: therefore not based just on principles.
More investment in ethical training has been suggested, particularly in the fields of engineering, management,
and marketing of robots, to ensure that relationships
between developers and consumers are solid and effective because they are grounded in trust. Future work
should address this suggestion by developing a specific
trust scale aimed at measuring the quality of confidence
within such relationships, also in connection with trust in
robotics. The challenge for robotics companies is both
∕

House cleaning
Street cleaning
■ Taxi driving
■ Military activities
■ Personal training
■

Applications and Future Research

DECEMBER 2019

technical and ethical, because it is inspired by the tendency of potential stakeholders to be more confident in
machines than in humans, and by a well-defined and
focused acceptance of robots. The survey showed that
people would be comfortable using or being assisted by
machines more in technical tasks than in relational or
affective ones, namely in those jobs that are too dangerous, menial, heavy, or time consuming to be performed
by people. This challenge to develop instrumental robots
in the near future seems well defined from a technical
point of view, but it requires a strong trust in roboticists
to translate into an effective and positive response centered on the real needs and fundamental rights of people. This point can be elucidated from the first part of
the definition of Trustworthy AI already mentioned, along
with the comments which have been made expanding
the narrow and possibly conflicting idea of laws with the
broader concept of human rights.
Data about people's preferences related to future
scenarios of advanced robotics have been presented
and can be used as investment suggestions for developers and designers of these systems. In summary, "The
robots you desire" should be reliable, not anthropomorphic (with the exception of the personal trainer) and
used in the following areas of technical application:

Future research should include studies involving a
greater and more varied sample of students in order to
evaluate the stability of the present results and to further stratify the same in reference to other variables,
such as gender, culture or personality.
Assessing trust in robots with respect to well-defined
categories of jobs is another possible research goal aimed
at better exploring both the degree of confidence across
the different application areas and the desire of anthropomorphism. Finally, as this study referred to a general definition of trust, a next step of this investigation will be to
develop a more complex structured questionnaire to
address trust in its multidimensionality more accurately,
according to recent suggestions in this field [35].

Acknowledgment
The authors thank Prof. Adam Martin for his assistance
in English evaluating of the draft.

Author Information
Laura Leondina Campanozzi, Giampaolo Ghilardi, and Vittoradolfo Tambone are with the Institute of Philosophy of

IEEE TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY MAGAZINE

53



IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - December 2019

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