CITP Seminar: Mor Naaman – “My AI Must Have Been Broken”: How AI Stands to Reshape Human Communication
From autocomplete and smart replies to video filters and deepfakes, we increasingly live in a world where communication between humans is augmented by artificial intelligence. AI often operates on behalf of a human communicator by recommending, suggesting, modifying, or generating messages to accomplish communication goals. We call this phenomenon AI-Mediated Communication (or AI-MC). While AI-MC has the potential of making human communication more efficient, it impacts other aspects of our communication in ways that are not yet well understood. Over the last three years, Naaman and his collaborators have been documenting the impact of AI-MC on communication outcomes, language use, interpersonal trust, and more.
The talk will outline early experimental findings from this work, mostly led by Cornell and Stanford graduate students Maurice Jakesch, Hannah Mieczkowski, and Jess Hohenstein. For example, the research shows that AI-MC involvement can result in language shifting towards positivity; impact the evaluation of others; change the extent to which we take ownership over our messages; and shift assignment of blame for communication outcomes. Given the impact of AI-MC on interpersonal evaluations, the talk will also cover our recent research examining the (mostly false) heuristics humans use when evaluating whether text was written by AI. Overall, AI-MC raises significant practical and ethical concerns as it stands to reshape human communication, calling for new approaches to the development and regulation of these technologies.
Mor Naaman is a professor of information science at Cornell Tech where he also serves as the associate dean for technical programs. Naaman leads a research group focused on the intersection of technology, media and democracy. The group applies multidisciplinary techniques — from machine learning to qualitative social science — to study our information ecosystem and its challenges. Before Cornell, he was on the faculty at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information, led a research team at Yahoo! Research Berkeley, received a Ph.D. in computer science from the Stanford University InfoLab, and played professional basketball for Hapoel Tel Aviv. He is also a former startup co-founder, and advises startup companies in social computing and related areas.