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AI and Trust: Impact on Human Interactions
AI and Trust: Impact on Human Interactions

As artificial intelligence systems become more advanced, the trust we place in our communication partners may be compromised. Researchers from the University of Gothenburg examined how advanced AI systems influence our trust in the individuals we interact with, shedding light on the negative consequences of suspicion in relationships.

AI: The Deceptive Scammer

In one scenario, researchers connected a would-be scammer to a computer system that used pre-recorded loops. Unaware of the Artificial Intelligence’s involvement, the scammer dedicated substantial time to perpetrate fraud, believing he was talking to an elderly man. It took a considerable duration for the scammer to discern that he was interacting with a technical system. This scenario underscores the lifelike capabilities of advanced Artificial Intelligence systems, blurring the line between human and machine interaction. The realistic nature of the Artificial Intelligence behaviour and responses contributed to the scammer’s delayed realization. The incident highlights artificial intelligence advancements and prompts crucial inquiries regarding trust and deception in human-AI interactions.

Exploring Trust and Conversational Agents

Professors Oskar Lindwall and Jonas Ivarsson co-authored an article titled “Suspicious Minds: The Problem of Trust and Conversational Agents,” which delves into the interpretation and implications of interactions involving artificial intelligence agents. The authors highlight the damaging effects of harbouring unwarranted suspicion, including relationship strain.

Trust Issues and Excessive Suspicion with AI

The study indicates that trust issues can fuel jealousy and the desire to find evidence of deception. Lindwall and Ivarsson argue that even without cause, the inability to fully trust a conversational partner’s intentions and identity may foster undue suspicion.

The Human-Like Voice Dilemma

The researchers raise concerns about using human-like voices in AI, as it blurs communication clarity and identity recognition. To address believability, the researchers propose developing AI voices that are clearly synthetic but still well-functioning and eloquent. This approach aims to increase transparency and reduce the potential for misunderstandings.

Implications for Communication

The uncertainty of interacting, whether in therapy or other contexts, can impact relationship-building and joint meaning-making. While certain situations may not be affected, therapies requiring stronger human connections may suffer from the presence of AI.

Also Read: Robotic Companions Aid Dementia Patients’ Object Retrieval

Analyzing AI Conversations and Audience Reactions

The researchers analyzed conversations and audience reactions from publicly available YouTube data. Three types of conversations were studied: robot-person hair appointment calls, person-person hair appointment calls, and telemarketers interacting with a computer system.


The University of Gothenburg‘s research highlights the intricate dynamics of trust and communication in the context of AI systems. Recognizing the impact of AI on trust is vital to create transparent and effective AI interactions. This understanding helps in maintaining human connections while minimizing unwarranted suspicion. By designing AI systems that prioritize transparency, we can foster trust and ensure meaningful human interactions. Such efforts are essential to mitigate the potential negative consequences of AI-driven interactions. Developing AI technologies that prioritize clear communication and honest representation can promote trustworthiness. This, in turn, facilitates genuine connections between AI systems and humans, enabling more fruitful and authentic interactions. The incident showcases the progress in Artificial Intelligence, prompting inquiries about trust and deception in human-Artificial Intelligence interactions.