Trust Toward Robots and Artificial Intelligence: An Experimental Approach to Human–Technology Interactions Online

Atte Oksanen, Nina Savela, Rita Latikka, Aki Koivula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Robotization and artificial intelligence (AI) are expected to change societies profoundly. Trust is an important factor of human–technology interactions, as robots and AI increasingly contribute to tasks previously handled by humans. Currently, there is a need for studies investigating trust toward AI and robots, especially in first-encounter meetings. This article reports findings from a study investigating trust toward robots and AI in an online trust game experiment. The trust game manipulated the hypothetical opponents that were described as either AI or robots. These were compared with control group opponents using only a human name or a nickname. Participants (N = 1077) lived in the United States. Describing opponents with robots or AI did not impact participants’ trust toward them. The robot called jdrx894 was the most trusted opponent. Opponents named “jdrx894” were trusted more than opponents called “Michael.” Further analysis showed that having a degree in technology or engineering, exposure to robots online and robot use self-efficacy predicted higher trust toward robots and AI. Out of Big Five personality characteristics, openness to experience predicted higher trust, and conscientiousness predicted lower trust. Results suggest trust on robots and AI is contextual and it is also dependent on individual differences and knowledge on technology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number568256
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • artificial intelligence
  • human–technology interaction
  • individual differences
  • robot
  • trust
  • trust game

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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