An anonymous reader writes: Imagine a future where instead of siting through fire alarms with your fingers in your ears, a robot come comes to greet you and guide you out of the building. Researchers at Georgia Tech created an emergency guidance robot and then looked at whether or not people would follow the robot during an emergency. 'The research was designed to determine whether or not building occupants would trust a robot designed to help them evacuate a high-rise in case of fire or other emergency. But the researchers were surprised to find that the test subjects followed the robot's instructions – even when the machine's behavior should not have inspired trust.' The robot first guided people to a meeting room. In some conditions the robot broke along the way to the meeting room. Then, unbeknownst to the subjects, the researchers filled the hallway with smoke and set off the fire alarms. Given the option of going out the way they came or following the robot down an unknown hall, nearly all followed the robot.
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