WIPS seminar: "Collective decisions with kids and robots"

On January 18th will continue the Work in Progress Seminars (WIPS) series, organized by the LABSS. Vito Trianni will be presenting.

Date: January 18th 2017
Time: 12:00 — 13:00
Location: Sala Rumelhart, ISTC-CNR, via San Martino della Battaglia 44

Collective decisions with kids and robots
Vito Trianni

Decision making in human groups is a thoroughly studied problem, and several mechanisms and protocols have been proposed and analysed, in search of the holy grail of collective intelligence. Most of the previous studies focused on the integration of information from independent decision-makers—the so-called wisdom of the crowd—as well as confidence-based aggregation of responses, or protocols that imply deliberation and reasoning about others preferences, such as the Delphi method. However, the extent to which social influence can be beneficial to attain collective intelligence is a much debated issue, with contradictory evidence pointing to the one or the other direction. Crucially, subtle differences in the experimental protocols used can be at the basis of large discrepancies in the final outcome. Therefore, designing the way in which decision-makers display their knowledge and interact can be key to attain collective intelligence. The technologies that can mediate social interactions and information aggregation are therefore crucial aspects than require thorough investigation. As a first step in this direction, I will present a pilot experiment with kids engaged in a consensus decision problem. Multiple teams of four kids (age 6-12) engage in a competition to drive a Thymio robot toward a destination to be selected among 4 possibilities. Reaching consensus about the final destination (and corresponding prize) implies trading individual preferences for the common good. The competition between teams corresponds to a speed-value tradeoff, where the best choice can be traded for a quick solution. Under such pressures, the team must reach consensus solely through the commands sequentially issued to the Thymio robot, which stands as the information aggregation medium for the team. At the same time, the Thymio can be used to collect useful information about the dynamics of the group decision making process.

Work in Progress Seminars (WIPS) are interdisciplinary seminars for the cognitive and behavioural sciences (including biology) as they pertain to humans. WIPS are meant to be a venue for presenting early to mid stage and experiment-related research.

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