By Lance Eliot, the AI Trends Insider
AI is starting to apologize.
That’s the latest trend for AI that directly interacts with people. The notion seems to be that if the AI has to deliver unfavorable news or appears to have made a potential mistake, it ought to be civil about the matter and emit an apology. AI developers are either opting to include the apology-generating capacity or they are being pressed by system designers and managers to infuse the “sorry about that” capability.
This might seem at first glance as a marvelous addition to an AI system and would presumably be valuable to construct. Sorry to say that the AI being apologetic has both upsides and downsides.
Let’s begin by considering a context that will help to reveal the pros and cons of AI-powered apologies. Imagine that you apply online for a car loan and the AI system determines that you are not worthy, as it were, and promptly turns you down. The belief is that this would be an ideal moment for the AI to offer you a “heartfelt” apology.
It might go something like this: Dear loan applicant, it is with great sorrow that I must inform you of the unfortunate news that your request to borrow funds to buy a car is hereby denied. Please know that you are not alone in having been spurned and accept this apology for any discomfort that might arise from this outcome. Sincerely, the AI system that reluctantly rebuffed your request.
Do you think this apology will make the person feel any better about the AI-powered decision?
Well, I doubt it would for most people, nonetheless, there is an emerging trend of having AI systems produce these kinds of messages.
We can mull over and debate the tradeoffs involved in having AI that provides these kinds of apologies. There are claimed benefits of having the AI appear to be deferential, while there are criticisms that this is a mockery of humanity and diminishes the potency of apologies all told. Before getting to the overall set of tradeoffs, imagine the myriad of areas that AI is being applied, beyond just adjudicating car loan candidates, and envision how those varied instances might opt to leverage a purposely apologizing AI system.
Here’s an intriguing aspect: Will the advent of AI-based true self-driving cars necessitate the AI being apologetic from time-to-time, and do we really want or expect apologies to be issued by AI driving systems?
Let’s unpack the matter and see.
For my framework about AI autonomous cars, see the link here: https://aitrends.com/ai-insider/framework-ai-self-driving-driverless-cars-big-picture/
Why this is a moonshot effort, see my explanation here: https://aitrends.com/ai-insider/self-driving-car-mother-ai-projects-moonshot/
For more about the levels as a type of Richter scale, see my d
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