People have more faith in humans than in artificial intelligence, but when considering God, based on what they define God as, they are more likely to accept AI recommendations than those of their peers.
This is according to new research by Keisha Cutright, a professor of marketing at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal.
Cutright and Mustafa Karataş of Nazarbayev University found, across eight experiments, that actively thinking about their construct of God increases acceptance of AI recommendations in a variety of contexts, including the selection of movies, financial products, dental treatments, and romantic partners.
In their experiments, half of the participants were randomly exposed to tasks or experiences designed to elicit religious thought. In one study, participants were asked to write about what God meant to them. In other experiments, they used more subtle religious cues, such as exposing people in a dental clinic waiting room to music evocative of God versus secular music, or comparing how proximity to a place of worship affected choices.
When people are actively contemplating God, they are less averse to artificial intelligence and more willing to consider AI-based recommendations.
From the findings: “Research has not yet systematically examined how religion affects decision-making in light of emerging AI technologies, which inherently raise questions on the role and value of humans. In introducing this discussion, we find that God salience heightens AI acceptance.”