Social dilemmas are situations in which the interests of the individuals conflict with those of the team, and in which maximum benefit can be achieved if enough individuals adopt prosocial behavior (i.e. focus on the team’s benefit at their own expense). In a human-agent team, the adoption of prosocial behavior is influenced by various features displayed by the artificial agent, such as transparency, or small talk. One feature still unstudied is expository communication, meaning communication performed with the intent of providing factual information without favoring any party.

We will implement a public goods game with information asymmetry (i.e. agents in the game do not have the same information about the environment) and perform a user-study in which we will manipulate the amount of information that the artificial agent provides to the team, and examine how varying levels of information increase or decrease human prosocial behavior.


Submission to one of the following: International Journal of Social Robotics, Behaviour & Information Technology, AAMAS, or CHI. Submission to be sent by the end of August 2021.

Release of the game developed for the study on the AI4EU platform to allow other researchers to use it and extend it

Educational component on the Ethical aspect of AI, giving a concrete example on how AI can “manipulate” a human


Project Partners:

  • Örebro University (ORU), Jennifer Renoux
  • Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Ana Paiva

Primary Contact: Jennifer Renoux, Örebro University

Main results of micro project:

This micro-project has led to the design and development of an experimental platform to test how communication from an artificial agent influences a human's pro-social behavior.
The platform comprises the following components:

– a fully configurable mixed-motive public good game, allowing a single human player to play with artificial agents, and an artificial "coach" giving feedback on the human's action. Configuration is made through json files (number and types of agents, type of feedback, game configuration…)

– a set of questionnaires designed to evaluate the prosocial behavior of the human player during a game

Contribution to the objectives of HumaneAI-net WPs

This project contributes to WP3 and WP4.
The study carried during the micro-project will give insight on how an artificial agent may influence a human's behavior in a social-dilemna context, thus allowing for informed design and development of such artificial agent.
In addition, the platform developed will be made available publicly, allowing future researchers to experiment on other configurations and other types of feedback. By using a well-development and consistent platform, the results of different studies will be more easily comparable.

Tangible outputs

  • Program/code: The Pest Control Game experimental platform – Jennifer Renoux*, Joana Campos, Filipa Correia, Lucas Morillo, Neziha Akalin, Ana Paiva
  • Publication: nternational Journal of Social Robotics or Behaviour & Information Technology – Jennifer Renoux*, Joana Campos, Filipa Correia, Lucas Morillo, Neziha Akalin, Ana Paiva
    In preparation