AI is transforming the way we live, including the way we communicate, engage and access information. There’s no doubt about it – AI has made communication easier and can break down language and border barriers all over the world. It makes communication quicker too.
But in a recent article, AI Chatbots Don’t Care About Your Social Norms by Jacob Browning and Yann LeCun, a number of limitations were highlighted regarding the current state of AI as well as the impact that this could have on human interaction in the future. Here, we delve into the topic in further detail.
Humans vs AI communication
Over the past few years, the potential for AI has caused great speculation with many individuals concerned about human-led processes and jobs. ChatGPT was then released, and it seemed like everything from essay writing, website development and even something so personal like letter writing was now being taken over by AI, yet again.
Despite these fears, we can’t ignore the benefits that AI communication brings. It’s clear why so many businesses are tapping into the world of AI communication too. It speeds up response times, it allows businesses and individuals to engage in a language they understand, there are no limits on the number of conversations that can take place at a given time and conversations can happen 24/7.
What’s more, with regards to businesses using AI for communication, it also reduces the need for costly staff training. Both individuals and businesses using the likes of ChatGPT will always be able to benefit from the best service offering too as AI tools are continuously learning and updating.
The better advantage?
It can’t be denied that AI tools like ChatGPT provide a host of benefits. But as the initial reaction fades, we are now seeing it for what it really is. While AI chatbots can speed up the process of communication and make it easier to speak to and understand people from all over the world, it’s not without its challenges.
For starters, AI chatbots seem to struggle to understand and adhere to social norms. While a chatbot might be able to provide an eloquent response to a question, we’re now commonly confronted with inappropriate outputs that misplace some or all of the original intention of the conversation. When it comes to the differentiating AI-generated responses and human interactions, this is just the start.
As humans, when we engage and communicate with individuals, it’s natural for us to pick up on unspoken cues and social expectations. For example, if we’re delivering a piece of bad news, we know that the person receiving this information may express certain emotions and reactions. We have the ability to foresee conversations. In contrast, AI chatbots simply can’t do this. What’s more, increasingly, we’re seeing AI chatbots misunderstand these social and moral implications resulting in objectionable responses.
Compassion goes a long way, whether you’re a business communicating with its customers or an individual speaking to their friends and family. Cultural sensitivity isn’t just appreciated nowadays – it’s a necessity. AI chatbots can’t guarantee this. What’s more, as humans we have a dynamic ability to change our approach in the midst of conversations depending on the other person’s reactions and needs. Again, AI just can’t replicate this.
This in itself has led to a growing distrust of AI chatbots and communication. The stats don’t lie either. The majority of consumers prefer to communicate with humans in the event that they have an issue with a product or service. As individuals, studies show that we are more likely to trust human to human interaction too.
Add to this a long history of AI communication being offensive and unreliable and it seems that AI communication tools need to witness exponential progression if they are to ever take over traditional human interactions. It must be said though that even if people do begin to trust AI tools to communicate just like humans do, the reactive approach of AI will always be one step behind.
The future of AI chatbots
To accurately assess the role that AI chatbots could play in the future, we can’t not forget that they currently struggle to demonstrate honesty, empathy, and self-awareness – which impact the true potential of their social interactions. There is still a place for AI chatbots though. It cannot be denied that their knowledge of topics and ability to communicate about a range of topics is hugely impressive and often much more far reaching compared to a standard human.
But, rather than replacing human-critical tasks and social conversations, AI can instead be used to enhance these situations and offer out-of-this-world experiences. After all, humans have their own strengths with regards to communicating. But so do AI chatbots. If we can take the best of both and create an AI-powered human interaction, the way we communicate could be changed for the better.
Imagine a world where humans control the interaction but use AI to help with personalisation and data. A world where those lesser-priority tasks are taken care of by AI leaving critical communications to be taken care of by humans. The sooner we start realising that chatbots won’t replace us as humans altogether, and instead view them as complementary tools, the sooner our service offering as businesses and individuals will soar.
For AI chatbots to successfully be used, we need to have a deeper understanding of their capabilities and limitations, however. Currently, AI chatbots cannot understand or adhere to social standards. Until they can, there will always be a distinct separation between AI communication tools and human communicators.
AI is an exciting development that can transform and shape the world around us, including our day-to-day lives and interactions. But there needs to be careful consideration regarding the ethical implications of development and the role that AI can play to ensure that AI technology can improve the way we communicate and engage instead of distorting it and taking it to a place of no return.
Article contributed by Elliott Hoffman co-founder of AI Tool Tracker