Evaluating Trust and Safety in HRI : Practical Issues and Ethical Challenges
In an effort to increase the acceptance and persuasiveness of socially assistive robots in home and healthcare environments, HRI researchers attempt to identify factors that promote human trust and perceived safety with regard to robots. Especially in collaborative contexts in which humans are requested to accept information provided by the robot and follow its suggestions, trust plays a crucial role, as it is strongly linked to persuasiveness. As a result, human- robot trust can directly affect people's willingness to cooperate with the robot, while under- or overreliance could have severe or even dangerous consequences. Problematically, investigating trust and human perceptions of safety in HRI experiments is not a straightforward task and, in light of a number of ethical concerns and risks, proves quite challenging. This position statement highlights a few of these points based on experiences from HRI practice and raises a few important questions that HRI researchers should consider.