A Research Agenda Revisited
A. Rodney Wellens and Michael D. McNeese
Department of Psychology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida U.S.A.
United States Air Force Research Laboratory
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio U.S.A.
Over a decade ago Wellens and McNeese ( 1987) proposed a research agenda for the social psychology of intelligent machines. The term "intelligent machine" was used to describe any information processing system designed as a social surrogate that could respond meaningfully to human action along communication channels previously reserved for human contact. Of special interest was a class of "socially skilled" machines that used human-like interaction styles (e.g., employing natural language, voice synthesis, animated facial expressions) to interface with humans. The interaction of humans with intelligent machines was seen as a new form of dynamic social interaction. The "social psychology of intelligent machines" represented a proposed interdisciplinary approach to understanding the impact of artificially intelligent systems upon human cognitive, affective and behavioral functioning. Observations from the disciplines of social, cognitive and clinical psychology, sociology, communications and human factors engineering were brought to bear upon the problem of assessing the influence of intelligent machine systems on human functioning. Within this paper we will draw upon those early reports as well as more recent observations to re-explore how social influence can occur via exposure to intelligent machines and what consequences this might have for system users and future system design.