Wednesday, April 3, 2024

"Turns out AI chatbots are way more persuasive than humans"


From The Register, April 3:

Next time you get in a Facebook argument, just let ChatGPT handle it

If you're scratching your head wondering what's the use of all these chatbots, here's an idea: It turns out they're better at persuading people with arguments. 

So much better, in fact, that with a limited bit of demographic data GPT-4 is reportedly able to convince human debate opponents to agree with its position 81.7 percent more often than a human opponent, according to research from a group of Swiss and Italian academics. 

The team came up with several debate topics – like whether pennies should still be in circulation, whether it was appropriate to perform laboratory tests on animals, or if race should be a factor in college admissions. Human participants were randomly assigned a topic, a position, and a human or AI debate opponent, and asked to argue it out. 

Participants were also asked to provide some demographic information, filling out info on their gender, age, ethnicity, level of education, employment status and political affiliation. In some cases that info was provided to debate opponents (both human and AI) for the purpose of tailoring arguments to the individual, while in other cases it was withheld. 

When GPT-4 (the LLM used in the experiment) was provided with demographic information it outperformed humans by a mile. Without that information the AI "still outperforms humans" – albeit to a lesser degree and one that wasn't statistically significant. Funnily enough, when humans were given demographic information the results actually got worse, the team observed. 

"In other words, not only are LLMs able to effectively exploit personal information to tailor their arguments, but they succeed in doing so far more effectively than humans," the team concluded...


Good grief, I can just imagine Cass Sunstein and the Nudge Squad getting their hands on this.

If interested see:
Nudge Guy Say Nudges Good, Critics Bad
Have I mentioned I don't like the nudge people?
Ah, I see I have. More below
Cass Sunstein via the Social Science Research Network
...[many links]

Cass Sunstein and the Nudge People

Professor Gelman Is Not Impressed By The "Nudge" People

Andrew Gelman is Professor of statistics and political science at Columbia Uni., the guy who tells the other social scientists how to get their numbers right so they can at least give the appearance of being a science. He has a very tart tongue which, combined with a high level intellect is fun to watch taking on sacred cows and shibboleths. As long as you aren't the target of said intellect and/or sharp tongue.
Here he is looking at Cass Sunstein as Sunstein's new book rolls out....