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AiTech Agora: Chao Zhang – Personal Autonomy in Human-AI Interaction
30 March 2022 @ 12:30 - 14:00 CEST
Personal autonomy, the ability to pursue one’s own goals through unconstrained choices, is considered a fundamental human value. While the recent advances in artificial intelligence can increase performance and efficiency in many human activities, they may also posit a threat to personal autonomy. In this talk, I present two projects from the HUMAN-AI Alliance, a collaboration between TU/e and Utrecht University to address this societal challenge through joint research and education. In one project, we conceptualized personal autonomy as opportunities to make three different decisions in relation to one’s goal-pursuit (i.e., what to do and when and how to act). Three scenario-based experiments showed that constraining the three decisions undermined people’s experienced agency and goal motivation, but the effects were the same regardless of whether the constraining agent was a person or an AI system. In another project, we asked the question whether providing explanations for algorithm-based recommendations in various real-life applications would lead to higher perceived autonomy and lower psychological reactance. An experiment using design fictions demonstrated the predicted benefits of explanation but only for the application of car navigation system. I conclude the talk by sharing my reflections on the projects and plans for future work.
Chao Zhang is an assistant professor at TU Eindhoven: https://research.tue.nl/en/persons/chao-zhang
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