How fast does it take people to get addicted to AI? How many minutes does it take to get addicted? Microsoft reports that all it takes is eleven minutes a day for 11 weeks (11 x 11 is the AI tipping point). They describe it in this way:

A time savings of just 11 minutes a day was the magic number where users started to see value from AI.

To be clear, most people actually saved more time each day: the most efficient users saved 30 minutes a day, the equivalent of 10 hours a month, while the average person saved 14 minutes a day, or nearly five hours each month. But according to our research, 11 minutes of time savings is all it takes for most people to feel like AI is useful—the key to getting a habit to stick.

And as it turns out, 11 is an important number. We also found that 11 weeks is the breakthrough moment…. source

The Problem with Addiction

Although drug addiction is different from AI addiction, since it’s hard to gauge when the former will move into addiction, there may be some similarities. Consider the vulnerable ages for drug addiction:

Studies have shown adults develop habits that lead to addiction early in life — particularly during adolescence. This is a time when many teenagers are first exposed to drugs and alcohol. The brain is still developing during these ages. The parts that control impulsivity, decision-making and executive control are not yet mature; therefore, exposure to illicit substances could stunt development, heightening the likelihood of obtaining a drug or alcohol disorder. source

Is it possible that exposing teenagers older than 13 or 18 will get them hooked to AI? It’s a stretch, right, but it’s too early to know. What parallels could be drawn between AI addiction and some other type, say, social media?

Social Media Addiction

Most of us use social media every day, without ill effect:

social media usage is a habit for most of us. There’s no harm in our habits if they don’t harm ourselves or others. In reality, few of us are addicted to social media. source

The article cited above does suggest six questions to ascertain if you are at risk of developing an addiction to social media. What if those questions were re-written for AI?

Gauging AI Addiction - Seven Questions to Ask

The following questions have been adapted and added to aside from the original six available from the Addiction Center. That said, the questions below have no basis in fact or evidence of any kind. They are a thought experiment of sorts. Ok, with that disclaimer in mind, here are the revised questions:

  • Do you spend a lot of time thinking about interacting with AI models or chatbots or planning to use them?
  • Do you feel urges to engage with AI models or chatbots more and more?
  • Do you use AI models or chatbots to forget about personal problems?
  • Have you often tried to reduce the time spent on AI models or chatbots without success?
  • Do you become restless or troubled if unable to interact with AI models or chatbots?
  • Has your interaction with AI models or chatbots been so frequent that it has had a negative impact on your job or studies?
  • Do you rely on AI models or chatbots for companionship or emotional support to the extent that it affects your real-life relationships?

If you find that you are at-risk for AI Addiction, consider these detox strategies.

AI Detox Strategies

Here are a few detox strategies to enable you to flush AI out of your system, to reconfigure your brain to stop being so dependent on AI all the time.

  1. Track Your AI Habits: Use apps to monitor how much time you spend with AI and chatbots, and get insights into when and how to cut back. Set boundaries and establish AI usage goals (e.g. work only or use it instead of Google or Bing search).
  2. Create a Custom Detox Plan: Analyze your AI usage patterns. Set up detox schedule that fits your daily routine. Make sure to decide on certain times or activities when you won’t use AI. Limit your interactions to specific purposes, not just using AI for everything.

3. **Practice Mindful AI Use**: Be aware of how and why you're using AI. Limit your interactions to purposeful and meaningful sessions. 4. **Engage in Real-World Activities**: Make an effort to participate in social events, outdoor activities, or anything that encourages face-to-face interaction and physical movement. 5. **Journal**: Keep a journal of what you're going through, and reflect often on how you are doing.