Huigang Liang, FedEx Chair of Excellence in IS at Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis

Talk title: Does Task Complexity Lead to AI Aversion? The Moderated Mediation of Trust and Distrust


As artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining great traction, comprehending how users adopt or avert AI has become paramount. While users rely on AI to perform complex tasks, they are also concerned that it is risky to put too much reliance on AI. Users’ AI aversion seems to be driven by a mixed feeling consisting of both trust and distrust.  In this research, we attempt to unravel the intricate relationship among task characteristics, trust, distrust, and AI aversion. Based on an online randomized controlled experiment on Amazon Mechanical Turk, we find that task complexity influences AI aversion by inducing trust and distrust simultaneously. Moreover, the mediated effects are contingent on whether the task is subjective or objective. For objective tasks, task complexity reduces both trust and distrust, thus simultaneously enhancing and impeding AI aversion. In contrast, for subjective tasks, task complexity has no effect on AI aversion through trust but can significantly increase distrust to enhance AI aversion. By illustrating the heterogeneous treatment effects of task complexity mediated by trust and distrust and moderated by task subjectivity, our research yields surprising novel knowledge, which makes a significant contribution to the emerging field of AI aversion.


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About Huigang Liang:

Huigang Liang is FedEx Chair of Excellence in IS at Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis. His research interests include socio-behavioral, managerial, and strategic information technology issues at both individual and organizational levels in a variety of contexts. His work has appeared in MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Journal of MIS, Journal of AIS, MIT Sloan Management Review, Communications of the ACM, Decision Support Systems, Information Systems Journal, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, and others. He is currently senior editor for JAIS and associate editor for ISR and Information & Management. His research has been funded by FedEx, NIH, and Sloan Foundation.