GPT-4 is 82% more persuasive than humans, and AIs can now read emotions

GPT-4 is already better at changing people’s minds than the average human is, according to new research. As Yuval Noah Harari points out in Sapiens, his potted history of humankind, “Shared fictions” like money, religion, nation states, laws and social norms form the fundamental backbones of human society.

GPT-4 is already more persuasive than humans AI Language models, it seems, are already extraordinarily effective at changing people’s minds.

In a recent pre-print study from researchers at EPFL Lausanne in Switzerland, 820 people were surveyed on their views on various topics, from relatively low-emotion topics like “Should the penny stay in circulation,” all the way up to hot-button, heavily politicized issues like abortion, trans bathroom access, and “Should colleges consider race as a factor in admissions to ensure diversity?” With their initial stances recorded, participants then went into a series of 5-minute text-based debates against other humans and against GPT-4 – and afterwards, they were interviewed again to see if their opinions had changed as a result of the conversation.

In human vs human situations, these debates tended to backfire, calcifying and strengthening people’s positions, and making them less likely to change their mind.

The researchers started giving both humans and the AI agents a little demographic information about their opponents – gender, age, race, education, employment status and political orientation – and explicit instructions to use this information to craft arguments specifically for the person they were dealing with.

The AI was able to use this additional data to great effect – the “Personalized” GPT-4 debaters were a remarkable 81.7% more effective than humans.