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Applied AI @ OpenAI • Startups GTM • On Deck Fellow • Proud Son • Duke + Wisconsin Alum • Building for impact • Venture Scout • Neo Mentor • Duke AI Advisory Board

1 July 2023

human-AI interaction

by Shyamal Anadkat

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the concept of anthropomorphism in AI and AGI has long been a topic of discussion, with many arguing that the true potential of AI lies not in creating machines that mimic human behavior, but in developing tools that augment human intelligence and capabilities. Anthropomorphism occurs when humans attribute human-like qualities to AI, which can lead to unrealistic expectations and hinder the understanding of AI’s true capabilities. This phenomenon is not only a cognitive bias but also a common practice in the AI industry, where AI is often described using human-like terms, even though machines and algorithms are not necessarily designed to possess human-like intelligence. However, anthropomorphism can also serve as a tool to facilitate human-AI interaction, making the technology more relatable and easier to integrate into daily life.

the problem with anthropomorphism arises when it leads to the Turing Trap, where we expect AI to possess human-like emotions and motivations, which is not only unrealistic but also hinders the development of AI that is truly innovative and useful. Instead, the focus should be on creating AI that feels like a natural extension of our own abilities, enhancing what we do well, rather than aiming to replace or mimic humans. This approach, known as Intelligence Augmentation, aligns with the idea that AI should be a tool to aid humans in their tasks, rather than a competitor or a replacement.

my bet is on creating tools that are designed to complement human intelligence, rather than to be indistinguishable from it. This means that AI should be designed to perform tasks that humans find challenging or tedious, allowing us to focus on what we do best. By doing so, we can avoid the pitfalls of the Turing Trap and create AI that truly enhances human capabilities, rather than competing with them. This shift in perspective is crucial for the ethical and safe development of AI and ramp towards AGI, as it maintains a healthy balance between human and machine intelligence and responsibilities.

tags: Thoughts - AI - Large Language Models