Hybrid collective intelligence in a human–AI society

AI and Society 36 (1):217-238 (2021)
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Within current debates about the future impact of Artificial Intelligence on human society, roughly three different perspectives can be recognised: the technology-centric perspective, claiming that AI will soon outperform humankind in all areas, and that the primary threat for humankind is superintelligence; the human-centric perspective, claiming that humans will always remain superior to AI when it comes to social and societal aspects, and that the main threat of AI is that humankind’s social nature is overlooked in technological designs; and the collective intelligence-centric perspective, claiming that true intelligence lies in the collective of intelligent agents, both human and artificial, and that the main threat for humankind is that technological designs create problems at the collective, systemic level that are hard to oversee and control. The current paper offers the following contributions: a clear description for each of the three perspectives, along with their history and background; an analysis and interpretation of current applications of AI in human society according to each of the three perspectives, thereby disentangling miscommunication in the debate concerning threats of AI; and a new integrated and comprehensive research design framework that addresses all aspects of the above three perspectives, and includes principles that support developers to reflect and anticipate upon potential effects of AI in society.



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