Mar 13, 2019 - Technology

AI and groupthink

Photo: Tatyana Makeyeva/TASS/Getty

A central promise of artificial intelligence is to automate away tedious routine tasks, but a lingering worry is that it will chip away at our humanity, causing people to lean on computers to the detriment of their ability to think critically.

Catch up quick: A new survey from the PR firm Edelman, conducted last summer with 1,000 Americans, shows widespread worry around the social effects of swiftly advancing AI.

  • 74% said "intelligent and human-like" devices will lessen the need for interactions with other people and lead to more isolation.
  • 67% said AI increases the possibility of "digitally enhanced group think, lessening creativity and freedom of thought."
  • 71% said AI will lead to a "dumbing down of people."
"People tend to trust the information they are presented by their digital devices, and it’s possible with AI — given the vast amounts of personal data that drive those systems — to steadily persuade individuals and entire groups to a certain point of view."
Gary Grossman, head of Edelman's AI center
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