Digitised faces might stop people from stealing at self-serving checkouts
Now, researchers seem to have found a method that may decrease shoplifting at self-service checkouts.
Multiple reports have showcased the dishonesty practised by people at self-serving checkouts. Now, researchers seem to have found a method that may decrease shoplifting at self-service checkouts.
Our future is rapidly moving towards automation from self-driving electric vehicles to our stores. Experts from Abertay University have developed virtual characters to test if installing them at counters is going to affect shopper behaviour. They discovered that realistic, human-like faces resulted in fewer instances of dishonesty among customers.
The researchers simulated a self-service checkout scenario where the participants were asked to scan or weigh items before paying for them. This also provided an opportunity to increase the weight of an item or sneak in a few more items.
Susan Siebenaler, one of the researchers involved, says, “The participants were placed in situations in which they could benefit financially through dishonest behaviour.”
“Participants appeared to be positively influenced by the greater social presence, such as human-like features, which meant they were less likely to cheat,” she added.
Dr Andrea Szymkowiak, Senior Lecturer in Human Computer Interaction says, “The idea here is that the presence of human-like digital characters may influence shopper behaviour, but further research is required to determine the real-world benefit of such technology.”
The idea has reduced shoplifting, but it needs to be updated depending on the response we get from it in the future. As we have seen, protesters have managed to evade artificial intelligence and surveillance cameras during the Hong Kong protests. So, evading a digitised face might not be difficult, but it is still better than not having anything.
“People are responsive to social human cues, and there seems to be an in-built mechanism that makes us respond to faces and eye contact,” says Szymkowiak. “People are responsive to social human cues, and there seems to be an in-built mechanism that makes us respond to faces and eye contact.”