Just think about self-driving cars: At the very least, they would eliminate road deaths from drunk and distracted driving, of which there are currently more than 13,000 in the United States every year. But most Americans say they wouldn't feel comfortable riding in an automated vehicle—and if that mentality doesn't change, there's no chance of the technology taking off. It's the same across many different domains, where robotic and artificially intelligent systems have the potential to improve safety and boost productivity. Ironically, the crucial factor in the success of automation is always the one human action that can't be automated: the decision to trust the robot in the first place.
And even when the robot isn't calling all the shots—when we're just working with a bot—we usually keep our guards up. When robots do things we don't understand, like sensing obstacles we can't or following rules we don't know, we tend to lose confidence and wrest control away from them—even when the robots are right.