02/03/2023 (Thursday) 13:00-14:00 E21B-G002

From Computer-mediated Communication to AI-moderated Communication—prospects and limits of media and human communication research


The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has dramatically impacted the way we communicate and how we understand communication. With the increasing prevalence of AI-mediated communication, researchers of human communication must take into consideration its effects on our interactions and relationships. The use of AI as communication intermediaries, such as chatbots and virtual assistants, can alter the context and dynamics of our communication, making it imperative for researchers to study the ways in which AI influences our social and emotional cues, language use, and information exchange. This is crucial in order to understand the impacts of AI-mediated communication on human communication, and to develop ethical and effective applications of AI in communication and media. Citing recent empirical research and theoretical developments, this forward-looking talk aims to highlight opportunities and challenges in theory building in the new era of human communication in which media platforms and communication technologies not only facilitate and mediate, but also autonomously alter and moderate human-to-human communication.

Mike Yao is Professor of Digital Media and Head of the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising in the College of Media at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He holds a joint appointment as Professor of Marketing in the Gies College of Business and Professor of Informatics in the Informatics Program. Dr. Yao’s research focuses on digitally mediated social behavior and human-technology interaction, with a specific interest in emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, virtual assistants, and artificial intelligence.He has been an Associate Editor of Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication since 2018. Dr. Yao received his Ph.D. in communications from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2006.