Psychology’s Role in AI Presented by Professor Mindy Shoss at American Psychological Association Webinar 

Mindy Shoss

Department of Psychology Professor Mindy Shoss, Ph.D. presented at a recent American Psychological Association webinar on AI titled: “Artificial Intelligence: The Role of Psychology and How to Navigate Change.” She was also cited in an APA press release on AI and ethics.  

Over 1,500 people registered for the webinar on this timely topic. We spoke with Shoss on her AI research. 

How does psychology play a role in AI? 

Psychology can play an important role in guiding the processes through which AI systems are prioritized, designed, developed, deployed and evaluated. 

Please describe the details of the webinar.  

From my perspective, the goal of the webinar was to advocate for a human-centered approach to AI. A human-centered approach to AI considers human well-being and dignity to be central considerations for every stage of the AI lifecycle, from the technologies that are developed, to the datasets used in developing AI systems, to how AI systems are used in daily life and work.  

Going beyond individual AI systems, psychological science is well positioned to understand and study the implications of AI for society more broadly, including issues of trust and how AI may shape the future of work and organizations. One important thing to keep in mind when we’re talking about AI is that it is continually evolving—the technology itself is changing, societal reactions change over time, regulation and guidelines are changing—and this is going to have important implications for individuals in their work and lives.  

What got you interested in this project/research area?  

My research examines the intersection of the future of work and employee well-being. Technology—and how technology is implemented in work—holds a lot of promise for enhancing job quality and making work better for people, but it also comes with risks that may harm well-being.  

What are the implications of your research?  

My research suggests several considerations that may shape whether AI and emerging technologies (e.g., robots) are beneficial or harmful for workers. These considerations go beyond the technologies themselves and extend to considerations about identity, job design and organizational change. 

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