Rethinking Communication in the Era of Artificial Intelligence

S. Shyam Sundar, Eun Ju Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This article introduces the special issue of Human Communication Research (HCR) exploring the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in communication. It situates the six articles in this issue along conceptual dimensions drawn from human-computer interaction (HCI) and computer-mediated communication (CMC) research. It also underscores the importance of typologizing AI's involvement in human communication by building on traditional distinctions such as mass versus interpersonal communication. In doing so, it describes how AI can fulfill analogous roles as either communicator or mediator in both contexts. This article also discusses the six articles and draws out common themes, most notably the tension between human agency and machine agency caused by the arrival of AI. It concludes by expressing optimism for the discovery of new concepts, frameworks and issues as we study both the positive and negative influences of AI on the process and effects of human communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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