Serum 13 is an escape room game in virtual reality, where players try to develop a vaccine to save the creatures of the mystical island of Xiranda.

Our partners from JKU Robopsychology Lab were interested in taking up current issues related to algorithmic decision-making and combining them with methods in psychological trust research. In particular, they wanted to investigate under which conditions humans trust artificial intelligence (AI), based on voice cues such as pitch, speed, tone, timing or artificiality. In particular, the trustworthiness in AI and its competence, even when the intelligent system might make errors, was of interest.

We designed a gamified, VR environment in the format of an escape room. In a virtual biotech lab, players have to read out X-rays, join proteins and get out on time, in order to save the creatures of the mystical island world of Xiranda. A prototypical AI assistant is there to help, but players have to make a choice: will they take the advice or follow their gut feeling?