Changes in our interaction with each other via social media and with AI systems pose a central challenge for modern society. Messenger services, chatbots, robot co-workers: Our everyday interactions are no longer limited to human beings. Which changes does this development bring about? How do we shape and manage them? And what are the risks and opportunities that come along with it? Our interdisciplinary research group combining humanities, social, and behavioral sciences at Ruhr University Bochum addresses these questions.
Interaction via social Media
Language assistants, chatbots, and social media increasingly affect our social interaction. What are the core principles guiding personal human-human interaction, and how are they changed by increased communication via social media? On the one hand, it fosters one-sided information (filter bubbles), fake news, and conspiracy theories; on the other hand, it opens up new possibilities for shaping social relationships and for maintaining social groups (families and friends) over long distances.
Interaction with AI Systems
Similar challenges are to be expected for our social interaction with intelligent AI systems. Which stance should we take towards them? Simply transferring the principles of human-human interaction to this case would create the risk of inadequately anthropomorphizing machines. Even though AI systems are becoming increasingly autonomous – no longer remaining rigidly programmed machines – which can even simulate emotions, they are still to be distinguished from sentient human beings. How could we best shape and steer the interaction and cooperation between human beings and AI systems in pedagogical and work contexts?