Cover Image for The Role of AI in Conspiracy Culture: A Conversation with Justin Hendrix and David G. Rand
Cover Image for The Role of AI in Conspiracy Culture: A Conversation with Justin Hendrix and David G. Rand
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The Role of AI in Conspiracy Culture: A Conversation with Justin Hendrix and David G. Rand

Hosted by Betaworks
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Could AI be the most effective conspiracy theory debunker?

Research being done by David G. Rand and others has shown evidence of conversational GPT being able to persuade "true believers" from their conspiracy beliefs. Artificial intelligence's use of counter evidence, alternative explanations, and encouragement of critical thinking when confronted with conspiracy thinking proved more influential than an emotional approach.

AI systems are increasingly being deployed to automate political speech and engage in content moderation. What are the opportunities to address falsehoods and conspiracy theories? What are the potential downsides of automating these activities? More generally, what are the implications of AI for persuasion? What can science tell us about such questions, and where is there room for more and better research?

Join David G. Rand (Professor of Management Science & Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT) and Justin Hendrix (Editor of Tech Policy Press) for a deep dive into artificial intelligence's role and potential influence in our modern conspiracy culture.

Speakers

David G. Rand
David Rand is the Erwin H. Schell Professor and Professor of Management Science and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. Bridging the fields of cognitive science, behavioral economics, and social psychology, David’s research combines behavioral experiments and online/field studies with mathematical/computational models to understand human decision-making. His work focuses on illuminating why people believe and share misinformation and “fake news”; understanding political psychology and polarization; and promoting human cooperation. He has published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals such Nature, Science, PNAS, the American Economic Review, Psychological Science, Management Science, New England Journal of Medicine, and the American Journal of Political Science, and his work has received widespread media attention. David regularly advises technology companies such as Google, Meta/Facebook, and TikTok in their efforts to combat misinformation, and has provided testimony about misinformation to the US and UK governments.

Justin Hendrix
Justin Hendrix is CEO and Editor of Tech Policy Press, a new nonprofit media venture concerned with the intersection of technology and democracy. Previously, he was Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. He spent over a decade at The Economist in roles including Vice President, Business Development & Innovation. He is an associate research scientist and adjunct professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Opinions expressed here are his own.

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