“I get concerned about the fact that we just blindly believe the GPS. We don’t question it. Are we just going to blindly believe the AI?” Rosen says. “As it is, we’re overwhelmed. We’re so overwhelmed that we can’t make ourselves do a simple task and see it to completion. Anxiety is just going to ratchet up as we’re faced with this unknown thing in our world.”
Michael Graziano, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Princeton University, says he thinks AI could create a “post-truth world.” He says it will likely make it significantly easier to convince people of false narratives, which will be disruptive in many ways.
“Reality has become pixels, and pixels are now infinitely inventable,” Graziano says. “We can create them any way we want to.”
That being said, Graziano also wonders if AI could help us with the loneliness epidemic, which is a big strain on mental health. Perhaps people will think of AI as a friend? But what happens then? We don’t yet know, Graziano says.
“We don’t actually know what kind of impact this technology will have,” Graziano says.
Michal Kosinski, a computational psychologist and associate professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University, says AI could have an interesting impact on how people think about their work. He says AI will be better at doing many tasks that humans do today, so people will rely on it, and they could essentially become the human face of the work the AI is doing.
“Increasingly, not only medical doctors but politicians and judges and teachers will become interfaces for algorithms,” Kosinki says. “When you go to a doctor, a doctor will still give you a diagnosis, but this diagnosis will just be printed out of a computer that analyzed your vital signs and symptoms and told the doctor to give you this medicine.”
AI is going to have an impact on almost every aspect of human life, and Graziano says much more research is needed into how this will affect people’s minds. If social media can have such a major impact on society, there’s no telling what consequences a rapidly advancing technology like AI could precipitate.
“I would like to see people collect actual data on people’s psychological state, personalities, their mental health as a function of their engagement with AI,” Graziano says. “What does that do? Does it actually improve things in some ways and harm things in other ways? Is it dependent on the particular personality or particular socio-economic status of a person? There’s this giant area that isn’t studied.”
Kosinki says people are just starting to see how quickly these AI systems are advancing, and they’re just going to keep becoming more complex and capable of more things. The world might look a lot different in just a year, and there’s no saying what it will look like further down the road.
“We are sliding, very quickly, towards an AI-controlled and AI-dominated world,” Kosinki says.