Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark have studied human-machine collaboration and found that the tone of voice of a social robot as a team leader influences the creativity of a human team. A robot with a charismatic voice generated more creative ideas in a team of students than a robot with a matter-of-fact tone.
Five participant groups from students of the study “Charismatic speech features in robot instructions enhance team creativity”, which is published in Frontiers in Communication, were confronted with a robot as a team lead in a supposed creative workshop. You should collect ideas based on images to use them to develop a new chocolate product. The workshop was led by a talking robot, which could be seen in a video. He presented the tasks and assured the students that there were no bad ideas. He congratulated them after completing the task and asked them to fill out a self-assessment questionnaire. In addition to their own performance, the performance of the robot was also evaluated. In addition, the researchers measured creativity as measured by the number of original ideas generated.
More charisma, higher creativity
The robot spoke in different voices in the different groups: one with a charismatic voice and the other with a less expressive voice. The group that was confronted with the charismatic robot rated it more positively, charismatic and interactive. The group rated their own teamwork more positively. Overall, they produced more original ideas.
The group confronted with the non-charismatic robot saw themselves as more resilient and efficient. The researchers hypothesize that this resulted from a less charismatic leader producing better self-organization. However, the team produced fewer creative ideas overall.
The result confirms that people respond more strongly to charismatic speeches and develop more self-confidence and commitment. This also applies to artificial speakers, who can produce special creativity in humans.
The researchers assume that by further adjusting the parameters of the artificial charismatic voice, its effect can be increased. However, they acknowledge that there are cultural differences in charismatic speaking patterns, and therefore the voice will not produce the same results in all languages and cultures.
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