This question is particularly relevant for social robots — the ones designed to interact with humans, such as classroom assistants or even the famous Sophia humanoid. To facilitate their relationship with people, these robots feature many anthropomorphic characteristics, including human-like appearance and voice.
To further shed light on this inconsistency, a research team from the University of Potsdam ran an experiment using standard German and the Berlin dialect.
The <3 of EU tech
The latest rumblings from the EU tech scene, a story from our wise ol’ founder Boris, and some questionable AI art. It’s free, every week, in your inbox. Sign up now!
“It’s not only about the robot,” Katharina Kühne, lead author of the study, told TNW. “We, as humans, also bring ourselves in that interaction. And very often we ignore the human element. So we wanted to look at this relationship from both sides,” she added.
To assess the impact of the local dialect, the team surveyed 120 Berlin residents. The participants watched a video in which the robot uses a male human voice and speaks in standard German or the Berlin dialect.
Here’s what the difference between the two sounds like: