Does the propensity to take risks influence human interactions with autonomous systems?

Technological development towards automation has been taking place for years and a wide range of autonomous systems (AS) have been introduced in homes and retailing spaces. Although these AS seem to be riskless, if they are exploited they can endanger private information of users, which opens a new stage for the security of AS. Humans have an initial and positive bias towards automation that might lead to errors related to unintentional actions or lack of actions. Therefore, the effective adoption of AS relies on users’ attitudes, like the propensity to take risks and the calibration of human trust to avoid situations of mistrust, over trust, and distrust, increasing the systems’ security. This study conducted an online questionnaire to investigate the relationship between an individual’s propensity to take risks and trust in automation. We found that participants with low risk seeking tendencies will trust more in AS when compared to high risk seeking participants. Moreover, other individual differences like age, gender, and education led to interesting results. Thus, our study provides valuable information about the human factors that mediate human and autonomous systems interactions and thereby influence trust.