AI agency vs. human agency: understanding human–AI interactions on TikTok and their implications for user engagement

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology has vastly reshaped user experiences on social media. AI-powered social media use and its outcomes largely depend on how users collaborate with AI that exercises agency. Through in-depth interviews with TikTok users, this study investigates how users collaborate with AI when using AI-powered social media and how such dynamics shape user engagement. We found that TikTok users are receptive to personalized experiences enabled by machine agency. However, by influencing each other, user agency and machine agency also led to user–AI synergy. Users deliberately influence content curation algorithms to make them cater more precisely to their needs; AI also facilitates users’ content creation and networking. Such AI–user collaboration on TikTok significantly influences medium engagement and social-interactive engagement. These findings advance our understanding of the dynamics between human agency and machine agency and, thus, how AI transforms user experiences on social media.

Hyunjin Kang, C. (2022). Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 27 (5). PDF descargable aquí.