Intelligent machines as social catalysts


Some people excel at facilitating communication between other people. They are social catalysts – they promote engagement within a team, keep the team on point, defuse hostility, make sure that everyone contributes to the best of their capacity, and generally ensure that the team performs better than the sum of its members. Social catalysts need to be subtly aware of social dynamics, mood changes, face-saving strategies, and unspoken rules of communication. Given these requirements, it would seem that being a social catalyst is a quintessentially human role. Here we discuss the possibility of having machines rather than people perform the role of social catalysts in human groups.

JF Bonnefon
JF Bonnefon
Behavioral Scientist