Trust In Technology?

We have heard plenty of stories about people who blindly followed their GPS over a cliff or missing bridge to their doom.  Now this bit of research from Slate Magazine.

 “Researchers at Georgia Tech had 42 volunteers follow a seemingly autonomous robot into a conference room. However, the robot was actually guided by a hidden researcher, whose goal was to intentionally lead the test subjects astray in order to establish the bot’s unreliability.

Yet when the researchers then simulated a building fire, all of the subjects immediately followed the untrustworthy Emergency Guide Robot again, despite the fact that it led them toward the back of the building and away from clearly marked exit signs. The researchers believe that this was due to the fact that the robot was automatically viewed by the volunteers as an “authority figure.”

To a certain degree, this is related to the same trusting nature that causes social engineering, phishing, and vishing exploits to work so well.  We are trained from childhood to trust and OBEY authority figures.  And this is what you get from all of that.  Perhaps we should be instilling a more questioning and doubting nature.

In any event, this article is a fun way to start the week.  Just remember – when in doubt, there is not doubt.


About the Author:

Cybersecurity guru to business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area. Computer security and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. In 2013 I completed a course of study and certification exam to become a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). In 2016 I was certified as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). As Cybersecurity Analyst at The WyzCo Group, I help our clients experience high levels of computer security, network security, and web site security. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. The views expressed on this Web site are mine alone and do not necessarily represent the views of my employer.

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