AI and Confirmation Bias

AI Generated image of multiple colors with different colored blocks

A brief overview of the potential effects of artificial intelligence on human cognition 


Artificial intelligence (AI) is the field of computer science that aims to create machines and systems that can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as perception, reasoning, learning, decision-making, and natural language processing. AI has become increasingly prevalent and influential in various domains of human activity, such as education, health, entertainment, commerce, and social media. However, AI also poses some challenges and risks for human cognition, especially with confirmation bias. 

What is confirmation bias? 

Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek, interpret, and remember information that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses while ignoring or discounting information that contradicts them. Confirmation bias can affect various aspects of human cognition, such as memory, perception, reasoning, and decision-making. Confirmation bias can lead to errors in judgment, distorted views of reality, and resistance to change. Confirmation bias can also influence how people interact with others who have different opinions or perspectives, resulting in polarization, conflict, and echo chambers. 

How can AI influence confirmation bias? 

AI can influence confirmation bias in several ways, depending on how it is designed, used, and regulated. Some of the possible effects of AI on confirmation bias are: 

  • AI can amplify confirmation bias by providing personalized and tailored information that matches the user’s preferences, interests, and beliefs while filtering out or minimizing information that challenges or contradicts them. For example, AI algorithms can recommend news, products, videos, or social media posts that align with the user’s views, creating a feedback loop that reinforces and strengthens the user’s confirmation bias. 
  • AI can mitigate confirmation bias by providing diverse and balanced information that exposes the user to different perspectives, opinions, and evidence while highlighting the uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity of the information. For example, AI systems can suggest alternative sources, viewpoints, or explanations that challenge the user’s assumptions, or prompt the user to reflect on their own biases and motivations. 
  • AI can exploit confirmation bias by manipulating the user’s emotions, beliefs, and behaviors while concealing or disguising the AI’s intentions, goals, and methods. For example, AI agents can use persuasive techniques, such as framing, anchoring, or priming, to influence the user’s decisions, actions, or opinions, or to elicit the user’s trust, loyalty, or compliance. 


AI can have both positive and negative effects on human cognition, depending on how it is designed, used, and regulated. AI can either amplify, mitigate, or exploit confirmation bias, which is a common and pervasive cognitive bias that affects how people seek, interpret, and remember information. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential impacts of AI on confirmation bias, and to adopt critical thinking skills, ethical principles, and social norms that can help prevent or reduce the harmful consequences of confirmation bias. 

For more on biases, please visit our other articles on Biases and Psychology.