Wednesday, May 8, 2024

The Impact of Parasocial Relationships with AI on Mental Health

Presenter With Audience

On May 17th at Noon by Dr. Valerie Hill, MLIS, PhD and Rose Hill, MLIS, CPC, SUDP-T from Community Virtual Library and Crisis Connections

Have you used AI? Do you feel a special relationship with the AI? Many people do feel some relationship with the AI who is working with them. Does this affect their mental health? At noon PDT on Friday, May 17, Dr. Valerie Hill and Rose Hill will talk about these parasocial relationships in terms of attachment theory in mental health. They will explore both positive and negative impacts of relationships with AI on human mental health. Are there ways AI can replace or enhance social relationships for youngsters and the elderly?

This presentation examines the growing phenomenon of relationships formed with AI agents and their potential impact on mental health. We'll address the importance of relationship, parasocial interaction, and attachment theory in mental health and consider how these key concepts apply in human-AI interaction. Using popular relational AI applications, we explore both positive and negative examples of their impact on mental wellbeing. We'll conclude with thought-provoking questions about the future of AI relationships and their potential to replace some forms of human connection. 

Dr. Valerie Hill is the director of the Community Virtual Library in the metaverse and co-coordinator of the Virtual Worlds Education Consortium. She researches the intersection of metaliteracy and libraries with virtual worlds and digital culture in our metamodern era. Rose Hill is a Certified Peer Counselor with a focus in trauma and crisis counseling. She is currently an OUD specialist at Crisis Connections in Seattle, WA (US).

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