In “Can Robots Manifest Personality”, Lee et al. argue that personality plays a key role in the development of enhanced human-robot interaction (HRI) and that if it were to be adopted there needs to be research done on it.
To determine the effect of personality in HRI, Lee’s team used Sony’s AIBO robot-dog and a group of 48 university students, partitioned by personality, and studied the interactions between each student and either an introvert or extrovert version of AIBO. The results of this environment were that participants were able to recognize the personality of AIBO and that there was a strong crossover between the AIBO personality and the participants. Overall, it can be drawn from this study that there is reason to believe that personality can be manifested in a robot and perceived by humans. Additionally, it showed that a robot’s personality has a strong correlation with how a human perceives the intelligence and attractiveness of a robot.
This study was done in 2006 with what we would consider a fairly primitive robot by modern standards, so I would love to see this study redone with more modern robots. For example, we have voice assistants that use tone and inflection to sound like a real human, so this study could use a human voice rather than a pet’s to portray the robot, which might produce different results due to people being less approachable than cute little dog robots.