Zombies in the loop? Humans trust untrustworthy AI-advisors for ethical decisions

Sebastian Krügel*, Andreas Ostermaier, Matthias Uhl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Departing from the claim that AI needs to be trustworthy, we find that ethical advice from an AI-powered algorithm is trusted even when its users know nothing about its training data and when they learn information about it that warrants distrust. We conducted online experiments where the subjects took the role of decision-makers who received advice from an algorithm on how to deal with an ethical dilemma. We manipulated the information about the algorithm and studied its influence. Our findings suggest that AI is overtrusted rather than distrusted. We suggest digital literacy as a potential remedy to ensure the responsible use of AI.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalPhilosophy & Technology
Issue number1
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


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