University of Notre Dame

To design, build, and evaluate the impact of immersive reality technologies and artificial intelligence on collaborative scientific work

  • Amount $499,969
  • City Notre Dame, IN
  • Investigator Diego Gomez-Zara
  • Initiative Virtual Collaboration initiative
  • Year 2024
  • Program Technology
  • Sub-program Exploratory Grantmaking in Technology

This grant is to support work to study the role of technology (especially VR) in scientific team collaboration. Following on a broad agenda-setting Comment in Nature Human Behavior about the potential applications of the metaverse for science, Gomez-Zara and colleagues propose two experiments to explore the dynamics of scientific collaboration across different technology platforms. The first study will compare the performance of small teams collaborating to perform scientific tasks in person vs. via Zoom vs. in VR. The second study will introduce an additional variable, the presence of an AI team member powered by a Large Language Model, to understand whether participant interactions with the AI agent vary across the same three contexts. Questions about how the perceptions of and interactions with AI agents might be influenced by the medium of interaction are of particular interest and underexplored in human-AI interaction research community.

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