On November 10th, 2023, the CMU Portugal Program hosted the Talk “Experiments with Social Coordination in Hybrid Systems of Humans and Bots” with Hirokazu Shirado, Assistant Professor of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII Institute) in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). This event took place at the CMU Portugal/ITI Premises at Factory (Hub Criativo do Beato) and drew an engaged audience of over 20 participants.
Shirado’s expertise lies in investigating the interplay between social interactions and technology, particularly in understanding how social order emerges and how communities collectively navigate social dilemmas. His thought-provoking presentation shed light on experimental studies exploring the dynamics of human coordination within the context of human-AI hybrid systems, offering valuable insights into the potential impact on human prosociality.
During the talk, Shirado delved into groundbreaking research, including a study published in Nature in 2017. This research involved introducing bots into experimental networks where individuals were engaged in a coordination game, revealing that the performance of human groups improved when bots exhibited seemingly irrational behaviors.
The second part of the presentation focused on a recent study investigating the social implications of intelligent assistance, such as emergency automatic steering assistance, in a novel cyber-physical experiment. The findings prompted a compelling discussion on how AI could potentially influence human prosociality by altering social foci.
Hirokazu Shirado was in Portugal for two months as a CMU Portugal Visiting Faculty and Researcher collaborating with Prof. Ana Paiva at INESC ID I Técnico GAIPS Lab (Research Group on AI for People and the Society”): “My two-month visit to Portugal has been an amazing opportunity for me to expand my research agenda and academic networks. I’ve had the chance to exchange ideas with various researchers at Portuguese institutions, including Ana Paiva and her lab members. Additionally, my stay in Portugal has allowed me to learn more about Portuguese culture, which has led me to reflect on my research interests in human cooperation across multiple cultures”, shares Shirado.
During his stay in Portugal, he had the chance to discuss with Ana Paiva about the potential of machines to facilitate human collaboration and decision-making in groups. While machine intelligence has been developed for individual use, it may not always be effective in group settings due to social dynamics and network mechanisms.
“To tackle this challenge, Ana and I have come up with a research idea that involves robot control to manage the attention dynamics in communication networks between humans and robots. This idea is a combination of Ana’s social robot studies and my social network experiments on resource allocation. We are currently discussing the details of the research project and plan to execute it once I return to Pittsburgh”, explains the researcher.”
Learn more about the speaker and his research here.