Technology is revolutionising and getting further advanced than most of us could ever imagine. You don’t even have to speak to a single person when buying your groceries, ordering new clothes or even finding friends, and this new piece of tech takes humans out of the equation once again.
The University of Southern California have paired up with the business school to trial their new robot to help the students learn business and all the negotiations that come along with it! The pupil will sit in front of a large computer and have a business negotiation with a virtual human otherwise known as a robot. The role play exercise is based around buying and selling antiques where the pupil have a certain amount to get which they are told to choose and so does the robot, so they have to argue or negotiate back and forth in order to make an agreement.
To make this even more exciting and worth working hard for, the University actually pay the pupils real money if they can seal the deal, this is probably music to all students ears! This is not only used for business students but also the likes of lawyers, diplomats and MBA’s due to needing the key skills of negotiation, bluffing, manipulation and various other tactics. So why did they make the robot? Well, researchers said that people often struggle to pick up the needed skills as they felt as though they were lying and being deceptive that luckily did not come naturally! However, by learning on a robot this eliminates feelings of guilt and deception to a real person.
“People find it awkward if someone is coming at them with a tough negotiation tactic. They want to be collaborative and concede. A lot of negotiation is learning to stand up for your interests, which requires you to be confrontational. We’re tracking facial expressions, annotating dialogue — even things like ‘um’ and ‘uh’,” said Gratch. This is how the robot can detect bluffing and weakness. Overall this robot has proved an amazing learning tool, but does this change the path of education for future generations by being taught by technology and not real people?