AI companion chatbots and the banality of evil

Keynote AI for Society

2024-02-08 | 03:45 PM - 04:10 PM | The Ambassadors Theatre


Triggered by the recent Belgian suicide case, this session explores the "Banality of Evil" in the context of the recent AI companion chatbots powered by generative AI. In the session, it will become clear that the loneliness epidemic in society combined with uncontrolled AI development can lead to harmful interactions with chatbots. The observation of self-delusion in current AI development teams raises new concerns at the level transparency and responsibility needs in the AI supply chain. The potential toxicity in the solutions in combination with the search for artificial intimacy by vunerable end-users is highlighted and emphasizes the urgent need for accountability, proper regulation and oversight. In the session, I will draw parallels to the regulation of other industries in the past, suggesting that next to the need of multi-disciplinary teams also well-funded and well-staffed regulation agencies are necessary to address the challenges posed by AI companion chatbots to protect society in the future.