The Parasitic Nature of Social AI: Sharing Minds with the Mindless
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionIntegrative Psychological and Behavioral Science. 2020. 10.1007/s12124-020-09523-6
Can artificial intelligence (AI) develop the potential to be our partner, and will we be as sensitive to its social signals as we are to those of human beings? I examine both of these questions and how cultural psychology might add such questions to its research agenda. There are three areas in which I believe there is a need for both a better understanding and added perspective. First, I will present some important concepts and ideas from the world of AI that might be beneficial for pursuing research topics focused on AI within the cultural psychology research agenda. Second, there are some very interesting questions that must be answered with respect to central notions in cultural psychology as these are tested through human interactions with AI. Third, I claim that social robots are parasitic to deeply ingrained human social behaviour, in the sense that they exploit and feed upon processes and mechanisms that evolved for purposes that were originally completely alien to human-computer interactions.