Crossing paths with a robot or “bot” online is as common as finding a pair of shoes in your closet.
It’s a fundamental part of the internet, but users have hit a critical tipping point: An increasing number of people are losing the ability to distinguish between bots and humans.
It’s a scenario developers have warned about for years, and it’s easy to see why.
A recent study concluded 47 percent of all internet traffic is now comprised of bot-generated content. That’s an increase of more than 5 percent between 2022 and 2021. Concurrently, human activity on the internet just hit its lowest point in eight years.
Coupled with advances in human-like exchanges driven by artificial intelligence (AI), almost a third of internet users can’t tell if they’re interacting with a person any more.
In April, a landmark study called “Human or Not?” was launched to determine whether people could identify if they were talking to another person or an AI chatbot.
More than 2 million volunteers and 15 million conversations later, 32 percent of participants picked incorrectly.
There was also little difference in the results based on age categories. Older and younger adults both struggled at a similar level to discern who—or what—was on the other end of the conversation.
The bottom line: While super realistic bots have taken over nearly half the internet, a rising number of folks can’t even tell.
Moreover, this historic intersection of swiftly evolving technology and decreasing perception within the general population is already causing problems in the real world….