AI-mediated communication (AI-MC) represents a new paradigm where communication is augmented or generated by an intelligent system. As AI-MC becomes more prevalent, it is important to understand the effects that it has on human interactions and interpersonal relationships. Previous work tells us that in human interactions with intelligent systems, misattribution is common and trust is developed and handled differently than in interactions between humans. This study uses a 2 (successful vs. unsuccessful conversation) x 2 (standard vs. AI-mediated messaging app) between subjects design to explore whether AI mediation has any effects on attribution and trust. We show that the presence of AI-generated smart replies serves to increase perceived trust between human communicators and that, when things go awry, the AI seems to be perceived as a coercive agent, allowing it to function like a moral crumple zone and lessen the responsibility assigned to the other human communicator. These findings suggest that smart replies could be used to improve relationships and perceptions of conversational outcomes between interlocutors. Our findings also add to existing literature regarding perceived agency in smart agents by illustrating that in this type of AI-MC, the AI is considered to have agency only when communication goes awry.
AI-Mediated Communication: Definition, Research Agenda, and Ethical Considerations
Abstract We define Artificial Intelligence-Mediated Communication (AI-MC) as interpersonal communication in which an intelligent agent operates on behalf of a communicator by modifying, augmenting, or generating messages to accomplish communication goals. The recent advent of AI-MC raises new questions about how technology may shape human communication and requires re-evaluation – and potentially expansion – of many of Computer-Mediated Communication’s (CMC) key theories, frameworks, and findings. A research agenda around AI-MC should consider the design of these technologies and the psychological, linguistic, relational, policy and ethical implications of introducing AI into human–human communication. This article aims to articulate such an agenda.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 89 to 100
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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