Do you treat robots kindly?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by AlwaysAttend, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Dec 29, 2017

    This might seem like a strange post, but I really had a legitimate question.

    I recently purchased an Amazon echo and finally set it up tonight. I must admit, it has certainly been less than I was expecting. Siri on my phone is way better in regard to searching for things it doesn’t know. There is also no way to teach it spelling, so it just tries to pick up phonetically what you’re saying. You can’t go back and change it, at least I haven’t found that option yet. Basically I’ve determined that this will be used to set alarms to wake me up, and to listen to serious XM radio through.

    During my frustration, I realized I was speaking in a very impolite way. By impolite, I mean I was speaking horrendously with words I wouldn’t use in the company of others. Once I realized this, I started researching and apparently using abusive language toward robots is a thing. There is actually research being done to study this.

    I have decided to speak to Alexa the robot in a nicer tone because it says more about me than I realized.

    Anyone else find themselves in a similar boat? Or do you think we should ignore social decorum and speak freely?
     
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  3. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I'm not totally up to date on Alexa's technology, but I do know that robots learn from experience, and so a robot's experience with negative or positive reactions will effect the outcome of its own programming. Hmmmm...kind of like the way human students learn.
     
  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I've only come into contact with an Alexa once. After several years of working in call centers before going into teaching, I just reverted to over-enunciating my requests and had no problem, no profanity.
     
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  5. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

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    I have caught myself doing the opposite and saying "Thank you" to our Google Home. I feel silly when I do it.
     
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  6. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    My brother got an Alexa and has been telling her to shut up when he wants her to shut up. Made me think of what was said about technology adapting to how they are spoken to,
     
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  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I talk to Bixby on my Note 8, but that's it. I have to do a lot of voice training to get it to understand my accent.
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    A friend has one. I've been polite to it and have been rude to it. I also know that people go through the logs of most asked questions or statements and update the response or algorithms based on how people are responding to it. I've never cursed at it, but I did say how I felt because, if said enough, those in charge of developing the software may take heed and find a way to fix it.

    Anyone curse at their computer, tv, car, washing machine, etc? That really isn't any different.
     
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  9. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Dec 29, 2017

    I don't use Siri too often, but whenever it gets something wrong I do find myself saying, "Shut up" and "You suck" a fair amount. I try not to be overly abusive to my phone though, and normally Siri does a pretty good job with the basic requests I make (such as weather, time, and telling me who just texted me.)
     
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  10. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    I wonder if there is some psychology behind why we are mean to our phones hah
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I read an article last year, wish I could find it, about how psychologists are concerned that use of this type of technology will make people more rude and will change socialization because you don't have to use manners - you just demand.
     
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  12. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    That is what I was thinking. Along with the concepts of instant gratification. Students get frustrated because technology is giving things to them right away and they do not have to work for it.
     
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  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I do believe all generations would say the same about their new technology. We just need to determine other things that can be used to build persistence.
     
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  14. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I say please and thank you to mine. I wasn’t aware that I did until my husband commented.
     
  15. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I have seen myself get progressively louder (and talk to my phone like it's an idiot) when it does something wrong..."Ok Google", "Oook Goooglee" "OOOOOOOOooooookkkkk Gooooooooooogggglleeee"
     
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  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Remember, Skynet should have become aware several years ago. We are overdue...
     
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  17. Guitart

    Guitart Companion

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    Dec 29, 2017

    Love the reference to sci-fi.
    In my previous life I worked in IT. At first it was a respectful career. I was regarded as a professional and my expertise was appreciated. As Windows, Best Buy, home networking, and hand-held devices became common, people became shade-tree experts and grew more frustrated with technology and the rules IT had to adopt to keep things working.
    Fast forward to Star Trek and notice there is no IT dept. Anyone can do it. But not everyone can teach:)
     
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  18. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Some scientists wonder if large entities that resemble neural networks, such as New York City, could have developed a form of artificial intelligence. Could this become the next avenue for AI?

    Source: (If my own neural network recalls correctly) Eagleman, David. The Brain. New York: Pantheon Books, 2015
     
  19. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    I’m always impressed by the fact that you cite sources in your posts - especially since you must read nonstop to know all these books to reference.
     
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  20. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Dec 31, 2017

    There's sort of an inherent assumption among many that if true AI is developed it will "care" about being treated nicely, and will be hurt/offended at rude treatment. This runs through a lot of sci fi (such as the show "Humans" about androids that develop sentience, and the movie "Ex Machina"). While I have no idea whether intelligent robots would rise up to kill us all, I strongly suspect the reason for such action wouldn't be petty verbal offenses.
     
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  21. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Even Amazon's machine is less caring than before. At one point it said, "I'm sorry you feel this way." It no longer says that and is more non-caring in its response. If AIs are programmed to seem to be caring it is to help us accept them more and to trust them.
     
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  22. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    There's a brilliantly prophetic book called, "hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy". It's a comedy and was written decades ago, but is still worthwhile.

    One recurring joke was the personalities built into all technology -- of course they started with helpful personalities, so there's an automated for that would exclaim at length how happy it was to serve by opening and closing dutifully. But they found that humans tired of the constantly chipper, overly obsequious door, and instead introduced real personalities -- resulting in a perpetually depressed robot and a "motherly" (to the point of annoyance) spaceship.
     
  23. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Oh, yes. Love it.
     
  24. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I do tend to treat robots kindly, much as I do people. However, sometimes there seems to be occurrences where we "agree to disagree", at which point I disengage, choosing to try later. I have found that my Sirius system sometimes refuses to recognize my request to call Joe's Pizza. I have come to believe that I call Joe's Pizza when I am tired, which may make my pronunciation unfamiliar to my AI friend. I find that if I take a couple of swigs of my soda either my mood has improved or my pronunciation, and my AI friend has no trouble understanding my request. I was intrigued about the different results to what I considered the same request, but have come to believe that to my AI it was not the "same" request at all. I am happy to report we are still on speaking terms. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  25. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    I use both Siri and Alexa. I actually like Alexa a lot better! I found two online articles about all the things Alexa can do. I was blown away. I've been doing trivia and the story thing. I also have been playing around with the music and the reminders. I love it. I do find myself saying, "thank you." That is weird, I know.

    Siri just irritates me and I do swear at "him"...I have the British guy voice for some reason. I think my Siri just doesn't work a lot of the time. Sometimes he makes calls, sometimes not. I guess I do use him a lot for spelling questions and stuff like that. Ugh, it does freak me out thought that both are always listening. Creepy!
     
  26. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Ha - I've only talked to a "robot" (any of the electronic devices) maybe a couple times, and that was just to play around with a feature.
     
  27. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I spoke to my students today about being kind or appropriate to "robots" or "AI". Not too surprisingly, my troubled teens thought it was perfectly fine to curse out the Siri's and the Alexa's of the world, even if they admitted that they may be addressing or asking in a manner that makes it difficult for the automated responders to understand the context they were expecting it to already "understand." The reality, it seems, is that my students feel that if they paid for it, it is theirs to speak to as they please. It created an interesting class discussion, so thank you for the question!
     
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  28. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Jan 4, 2018

    When I was a kid, I'd watch Lost in Space (with my Linus blanket for comfort when the monsters suddenly popped up on the screen). The robot, named "Robot", was a constant companion for the space family. Mr. Smith, the antagonist in the program, didn't always speak appropriately to Robot, but otherwise the conversations were polite, and Robot's main job was to alert the family of danger, often through some sort of premonition. Now, here we are 50 years later, and we're talking to our own personal robots. They come with more creative names such as Siri or Alexa. They don't wave their arms (they don't even have arms) and warn, "Danger! Danger Will Robinson!" but as I was writing this I was thinking, the premonitory reaction of Robot could be matched with today's technology; if Alexa could monitor daily physical environmental alterations, then an abnormal alteration could cause Alexa to alert the person of a possible danger, just as our lower brain notices such alterations and gives the upper brain an uneasy feeling, or just as my family's dog alerts us to such changes by barking. Alexa would even be more specific concerning the alteration than our lower brain is capable of doing. Anyway, who knows what robots will be like in another 50 years. When our students are in their 60's, will they read an archive of this thread and chuckle, and what will their threads about robots be about.
     

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