Skip to content

OPLIN 4cast #495: Talking back

Posted in 4cast

angry manWe have done a number of posts lately about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and efforts to make AI bots communicate more like humans, even to the extent of hiring humans to handle some of the communication. We expect AI bots to eventually interact with us the same way people interact with us, and thus Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is a field of study very closely related to AI study. HCI researchers have noticed, however, that people alter their communication style when they are interacting with a computer bot. We can get mean, nasty, and rude. Is talking to our chatbots teaching us bad habits?

  • Can abuse of AI agents shape the future of Human Computer Interaction? (Singularity Weblog | Daniel Faggella)  “Observing those human interactions with conversational agents is where [Sheryl] Brahnam and her team have focused their research. While they’ve found there are plenty of benefits to making a computer interface resemble or behave more like a human being, she believes the manner in which humans interact with that agent can show us how far that HCI still needs to evolve. As an example, Brahnam cited the typical frustration that everyone has likely encountered when dealing with a conversational agent. She also noted that the typical reaction tends to be abuse of that agent.”
  • Two very different tales of human-AI interaction (Motherboard podcast)  “So how should you behave around an AI? You can treat it with the same respect you’d (hopefully) afford a human, as [Lee] Sedol did. You may be tempted to refuse to acknowledge its intelligence, as [Garry] Kasparov did. You may want to fall in love with it, like Joaquin Phoenix’s character in the movie Her. Or you might feel like the best response is to swear at it and tell it to lick your butthole.”
  • Bots are awesome! Humans? Not so much. (Chatbots Magazine | Esther Crawford)  “Once a human gets frustrated with a bot they are quick to lash out. Your bot will experience name calling and may even receive ugly emoji or stickers. As a result, you should have calming or perhaps funny responses to common teenage assaults like ‘I hate you!’ or ‘Why are you so dumb?’”
  • Parents are worried the Amazon Echo is conditioning their kids to be rude (Quartz | Alice Truong)  “The syntax is generally simple and straightforward, but it doesn’t exactly reward niceties like ‘please.’ Adding to this, extraneous words can often trip up the speaker’s artificial intelligence. When it comes to chatting with Alexa, it pays to be direct—curt even. ‘If it’s not natural language, one of the first things you cut away is the little courtesies,’ says Dennis Mortensen, who founded a calendar-scheduling startup called For parents trying to drill good manners into their children, listening to their kids boss Alexa around can be disconcerting.”

Articles from Ohio Web Library: