HKS Affiliated Authors

Additional Authors:

  • Albert Fox Cahn

Summary

"AI could make our human interactions blander, more biased—or ruder," write Carr Center faculty Bruce Schneier and Technology and Human Rights Fellow Albert Fox Cahn in The Atlantic.

"For most of history, communicating with a computer has not been like communicating with a person. In their earliest years, computers required carefully constructed instructions, delivered through punch cards; then came a command-line interface, followed by menus and options and text boxes. If you wanted results, you needed to learn the computer’s language.

"This is beginning to change. Large language models—the technology undergirding modern chatbots—allow users to interact with computers through natural conversation, an innovation that introduces some baggage from human-to-human exchanges. Early on in our respective explorations of ChatGPT, the two of us found ourselves typing a word that we’d never said to a computer before: 'Please.' The syntax of civility has crept into nearly every aspect of our encounters; we speak to this algebraic assemblage as if it were a person—even when we know that it’s not."

Read the article.