Effects of Agents’ Transparency on Teamwork

  • Silvia TulliEmail author
  • Filipa Correia
  • Samuel Mascarenhas
  • Samuel Gomes
  • Francisco S. Melo
  • Ana Paiva
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11763)


Transparency in the field of human-machine interaction and artificial intelligence has seen a growth of interest in the past few years. Nonetheless, there are still few experimental studies on how transparency affects teamwork, in particular in collaborative situations where the strategies of others, including agents, may seem obscure.

We explored this problem using a collaborative game scenario with a mixed human-agent team. We investigated the role of transparency in the agents’ decisions, by having agents that reveal and tell the strategies they adopt in the game, in a manner that makes their decisions transparent to the other team members. The game embraces a social dilemma where a human player can choose to contribute to the goal of the team (cooperate) or act selfishly in the interest of his or her individual goal (defect). We designed a between-subjects experimental study, with different conditions, manipulating the transparency in a team. The results showed an interaction effect between the agents’ strategy and transparency on trust, group identification and human-likeness. Our results suggest that transparency has a positive effect in terms of people’s perception of trust, group identification and human likeness when the agents use a tit-for-tat or a more individualistic strategy. In fact, adding transparent behaviour to an unconditional cooperator negatively affects the measured dimensions.


Transparency Autonomous agents Multi-agent systems Public goods game Social dilemma 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Engineering, INESC-ID and Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaPorto SalvoPortugal

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