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Could This Face Prevent Self-serve Theft?

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Scottish researchers believe they may have found the solution to theft at self-serve checkouts.

Researchers at the Abertay University have found that having digital human like faces at the checkout reduces instances of shoplifting. In the study, participants had to scan products in a simulated self-serve checkout scenario, with opportunities for the ‘shoppers’ to benefit financially via dishonest means throughout the process. The study found when people had to interact with a digital human-like face, they were less inclined to engage in dishonest behaviour.

The researchers said “this study shows that there are potential effects on people's behaviour due to the inclusion of human-like elements within the service.” There is "huge merit in maintaining a social element in consumer interaction with technology."

I don’t know about you, but if the human-like digital faces share any resemblance to those representing Skynet, I’ll be thinking twice before scanning mangoes as Fujis.