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Can psychology be applied to the field of computer science and more specifically, to artificial intelligence? If so, how?

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While I would love to major in computer science, I am also very interested in psychology and would love to also get a degree in the subject as it pertains to nearly every aspect of the real world. As a result, I am very curious about the interaction and connection, if any, between psychology and computer science. Seeing that technology becomes more and more fundamental in our everyday lives and artificial intelligence continues to grow at an exponential rate, I was wondering if certain psychological concepts could be applied to construct robots that can think and behave just like a human being? And if so, how? #stem #psychology #artificial-intelligence

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Dhairya’s Answer

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Hi Sophia,

Great question! You're describing an exciting and emerging field known as Human Computer Interaction (HCI).


From wikipedia: HCI researches the design and use of computer technology, focused on the interfaces between people and computers. Researchers in the field of HCI both observe the ways in which humans interact with computers and design technologies that let humans interact with computers in novel ways. As a field of research, human-computer interaction is situated at the intersection of computer science, behavioral sciences, design, media studies, and several other fields of study.


I'd recommend digging into the HCI research to learn more. I've linked a few resources to get you started below. Also, several colleges like Carnegie Mellon, University of Washington, Stanford, Georgia Institute of Technology, and others (see below) have HCI programs and classes.


Good luck!

Dhairya recommends the following next steps:

  • HCI graduate programs and classes: https://medium.theuxblog.com/best-hci-graduate-programs-in-the-us-fb02387c59f9
  • Overview of the field today: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Human-Computer-Interaction%3A-Overview-on-State-of-t-Karray-Alemzadeh/ac74d9c6e4e04550e2a76856fbd661db1f695596
  • Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human%E2%80%93computer_interaction
Wow that sounds amazing. Thank you so much! Sophia W.
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Nicole’s Answer

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I would say another route would be to go into research under the field of Cognitive Science. If you are interested in generally how the mind works, this could be a route for you. Another use could be using computer science to simulate natural language processes. There's even the route of coming up with algorithms as models of human thought and behavior. These are all fields in which I am interested in, and a somewhat new and growing field to dive into!
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Brian’s Answer

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This is a great idea and approach. MIT Technology Review recently had an article about inherent biases that are affecting AI algorithms as applied to social statistics. An approach toward identifying psychological deficiencies in AI algorithms would be a great path toward a career in organizations that seek to improve diversity.
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