Who would you entrust, your personal information with, in the digital world? Are you more comfortable with machines, or trusting a human being with your personal digital data?
Answers to these queries have seemingly been attempted to be provided, by a new research conducted by an Indian-origin researcher called S Shyam Sundar who is Co-director at the Media Effects Research Laboratory and an associate at the Penn State’s Institute for CyberScience. This study, quoted by IANS stated that people were more comfortable in trusting machines even with respect to letting these access confidential information such as accessing even financial-related data.
For this research, Shyam Sundar and team reportedly worked with as many as 160 subjects from crowdsourcing marketplace Amazon Mechanical Turk. The respondents, here, were reportedly required to buy an airplane ticket online by using either a travel agent who is human or a machine bot. In this process, these respondents were said to have trusted the machine bot and considered this superior with respect to providing details like credit card information.
“People should be aware that they may have a blind belief in machine superiority. They should watch themselves when they engage online with robotic interfaces,” stated Sundar to IANS.
Now, the takeaway here is the intentions of developers/designers behind the machine bots; after all, ethics is what matters and anything unethical could qualify as a crime in the digital world. In case there are cyber-criminals, they could very well attempt things to destabilize their hosts.
Hence it becomes vital that digital systems are properly incorporated with the latest security measures; also, users should exercise restraint/discretion when it comes to financial transactions involving machines.