I was discussing with someone who had this strong conviction that AI is a ridicule all through and neglected all of its uses. At a stage, the argument got heated, and I said:

I think you are paranoid about artificial intelligence.

and he got really offended, that I had to open a dictionary and look up the word paranoid. Surprisingly, it seemed my grammar was wrong, and the term was inappropriate and I should have used something like bias. Is this correct? How best can I say something like:

I think you have become so scared of artificial intelligence that the negative side of it is exaggerated in your mind.

  • 1
    This is nothing to do with grammar, only with the choice of words.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 18:33

3 Answers 3


Paranoid doesn't mean an overreaction, as you now know. It means to be acutely suspicious, though the word is normally used to describe a disproportionate fear, like a phobia, which is probably where you got confused.

You could have said something like "You're too focussed on the potential for negative effects to see that the potential benefits are enormous".

To put that in a single word, I'd go with either technophobic or Luddite.


People do often use the word "paranoid" informally/colloquially in that context, but it's considered rude or even insulting because you're basically calling them crazy (because paranoia is a psychiatric condition involving delusional thoughts of suspected danger).


Calling the person paranoid would be accurate, but ambiguous. Calling the person a technophobe or luddite would be more specific to this scenario.

  • 1
    How is your answer different from Carl's?
    – Mohit
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 3:55
  • 1
    @Mohit: It contradicts Carl's answer. The first sentence is incorrect. Carl does not agree with this. Nor do I. Paranoia is a psychiatric disorder on a par with bipolar, schizophrenia, & agoraphobia. It's rather insulting to call someone insane for being irrationally fearful of something that they don't understand. If that were true, most of the world would be certifiably "mad" (OK, most of the world is certifiably "mad", I agree, but that's a different issue). Technophobe is the correct choice here, IMHO.
    – user21497
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 5:01
  • 2. informal exhibiting undue suspicion, fear of persecution, etc "paranoid." Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 23 May. 2013.
    – Jesse Adam
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 16:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.