December 4, 2022


The Internet Generation

Research: Do Popular AI Communication Tools Favor the Privileged?

Artificial intelligence tools can comprehensive our e-mail, transcribe our meetings, and individually tailor how we master a new language. But these technologies aren’t created for all.

“These applications that we’re making to increase human lifetime are currently being qualified to much more privileged populations, leaving underserved populations out of the added benefits,” said Jeff Hancock, founding director of the Stanford Social Media Lab and the Harry and Norman Chandler Professor of Interaction at Stanford College. “Designers, builders, and builders require to get started contemplating about these other communities and how they can be served.”

A smartphone. Image credit rating: Pixnio, CC0 General public Domain

In a recently posted study in Computer systems in Human Behavior, Hancock and his study staff examined the gap between the availability and accessibility of AI-mediated communication resources that empower interpersonal communication assisted by an clever agent. The scientists hypothesized that adoption of the know-how will be positively related with obtain, socio-financial components these types of as instruction and once-a-year earnings, and AI-mediated communication software literacy.

The Inequities of AI-Mediated Communication Resources

Hancock, an affiliate of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI, defines synthetic intelligence-mediated interaction as any interpersonal interaction modified, augmented, or created by an agent. That includes vehicle-finish characteristics in electronic mail, voice assistants like Siri or Alexa, or even car-right capabilities on text messages.

To far better fully grasp how Us citizens are applying these instruments, Hancock and his staff conducted an on line study applying the crowdsourcing platform Amazon Turk. They queried 519 adults involving the ages of 19 and 74, with at least a higher faculty degree or GED, within just a assortment of annual revenue.

The study questioned people to assess their literacy with 6 kinds of AI tools: voice-assisted conversation (Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google House, Google Assistant, and many others.) individualized language finding out (Rosetta Stone, Babel, Duolingo, ELSA Converse, Memrise, and so forth.) transcription (, Trint, Sonix, Temi, NaturalReader, Dragon, Apple Dictation, etc.) translation (Google Translate, Linguee, etc.) predictive textual content suggestion (e-mail and information replies, sentence completion) and language correction (vehicle-right, spell and grammar verify, proofreading). The study questioned them about their familiarity with these resources, their comfort employing them, and their confidence with them. It also requested how conveniently they had obtain to them and about any boundaries to their use.

The Hidden Inequality

The crew identified that AI-mediated communication technology is “not a monolith” — classes had been not used or professional equally by all customers. Out of the six groups, the most widely made use of AI among the the study contributors were being voice-assisted communication (91.9 %), language correction (91.8 per cent), predictive textual content suggestion (80.5 percent), and translation (70.2 percent). The minimum-applied AI were being personalized language finding out (57.2 per cent), followed by transcription tools (41.3 per cent).

Drilling down, the crew uncovered that device and online access, age, user speech traits, and AI device literacy had been limitations to adoption. They observed, for example, that young, electronic indigenous customers were being additional probably to use AI, especially transcription, even though translation resources were additional normally adopted by all those with greater schooling and reduce household earnings. Their findings also advise that English speakers with accents struggled more with voice-assisted communication and translation or speech-to-text transcription than unaccented English speakers.

“Sadly, as we could be expecting, men and women with lessen quantities of revenue and people today with decreased amounts of instruction were being a lot much less most likely to know about these systems and use or engage with them in their life,” said Hancock. “It seems like these tools, if not focused, are being employed by wealthier, much more educated people­, so these underserved populations are a great deal less most likely to use such AI-based mostly instruments than extra privileged populations.”

The researchers observe that the analyze members have been not perfectly agent of the U.S. population and that future investigation should concentrate on the underrepresented teams. Hancock identifies this underserved inhabitants as an opportunity and social crucial.

“It’s truly significant that folks creating AI tools will need to actively take into consideration varied populations that may have relatively unique wants, but requirements nevertheless,” he claimed. “It’s an possibility as properly as the appropriate factor to do.”

Source: Stanford College