Phil 3.22.2023

Grace Hopper’s first bug!

Artificial Influence: An Analysis Of AI-Driven Persuasion

  • Persuasion is a key aspect of what it means to be human, and is central to business, politics, and other endeavors. Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have produced AI systems that are capable of persuading humans to buy products, watch videos, click on search results, and more. Even systems that are not explicitly designed to persuade may do so in practice. In the future, increasingly anthropomorphic AI systems may form ongoing relationships with users, increasing their persuasive power. This paper investigates the uncertain future of persuasive AI systems. We examine ways that AI could qualitatively alter our relationship to and views regarding persuasion by shifting the balance of persuasive power, allowing personalized persuasion to be deployed at scale, powering misinformation campaigns, and changing the way humans can shape their own discourse. We consider ways AI-driven persuasion could differ from human-driven persuasion. We warn that ubiquitous highlypersuasive AI systems could alter our information environment so significantly so as to contribute to a loss of human control of our own future. In response, we examine several potential responses to AI-driven persuasion: prohibition, identification of AI agents, truthful AI, and legal remedies. We conclude that none of these solutions will be airtight, and that individuals and governments will need to take active steps to guard against the most pernicious effects of persuasive AI.

This ties in to an earlier paper:

The Systemic Impact of Deplatforming on Social Media

  • Deplatforming, or banning malicious accounts from social media, is a key tool for moderating online harms. However, the consequences of deplatforming for the wider social media ecosystem have been largely overlooked so far, due to the difficulty of tracking banned users. Here, we address this gap by studying the ban-induced platform migration from Twitter to Gettr. With a matched dataset of 15M Gettr posts and 12M Twitter tweets, we show that users active on both platforms post similar content as users active on Gettr but banned from Twitter, but the latter have higher retention and are 5 times more active. Then, we reveal that matched users are more toxic on Twitter, where they can engage in abusive cross-ideological interactions, than Gettr. Our analysis shows that the matched cohort are ideologically aligned with the far-right, and that the ability to interact with political opponents may be part of the appeal of Twitter to these users. Finally, we identify structural changes in the Gettr network preceding the 2023 Brasilia insurrections, highlighting how deplatforming from mainstream social media can fuel poorly-regulated alternatives that may pose a risk to democratic life.

GPT Agents

  • Reversed the model list so more recent ones come first
  • Finish the subsampling code
  • AI Ethics/Watermarking review


  • Download slide decks to laptop
  • Pick up Aaron at 3:00