Why I do research: Magdalena Wischnewski
Can I trust you, AI?
- von Cathrin Becker
Communication with robots, impact of social media: The Social Psychology: Media and Communication team researches how humans and technology interact. Dr. Magdalena Wischnewski is an expert in artificial intelligence (AI).
What fascinates you most about your research topic?
Artificial intelligence - everyone talks about it, but only very few understand what AI actually is, what it can do, and how we manage to make AI trustworthy. In my research, I try to find out what exactly 'trust in AI' actually means, how we could measure trust, and why trust in AI is so important.
Is there anything that has surprised you in your research?
When facts match our opinion, we find them more trustworthy than when facts contradict our own opinion. This is called motivated cognition. In one study, we found that this motivated cognition occurs less when we read about facts in news (proposedly) written by an AI. A news story that confirmed my opinion was suddenly less credible just because it was apparently written by an AI.
What motivates you to come to work every morning?
I've always been fascinated with human cognition and how it works and wanted to know why we think and feel the way we do, which is why I ended up studying psychology. The fact that I can now pursue this fascination and desire for understanding professionally is the greatest motivation for me.
Did you always want to work in research?
I come from a classic working-class family. Neither my mother nor my father studied. When I started studying, I didn't really know what it meant to go to university. It was unimaginable to turn research into a career one day, because I basically didn't even know that was possible. I think it's sad that in Germany our family educational background is still so decisive.
Magdalena Wischnewski, Tel. 0203 379 - 2442, email@example.com