MeMo:KI study on the acceptance of artificial intelligence

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  Pero Dosenovic M. A. 

Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

Opinion Monitor Artificial Intelligence [MeMo:KI] study on the acceptance of artificial intelligence

Increasing acceptance of AI applications, especially when it comes to the corona issue

Bochum and Düsseldorf, 6 July 2020

The Opinion Monitor Artificial Intelligence [MeMo:KI] has been examining every two weeks since the beginning of May people’s attitudes towards AI issues. How intensively do they deal with this technology? Where do they see areas of application? How should, for example, AI be used to fight the corona pandemic? And does the attitude of political parties towards AI applications influence how the individual votes? Initial data clearly show that, especially in these times of crisis, the generally positive attitude towards artificial intelligence is continuing to grow.

“People have quite different opinions on individual applications”, emphasizes study director Prof. Dr. Frank Marcinkowski (University of Düsseldorf, Institute for Social Sciences). “Using AI in medical anti-corona research in particular is meeting with great approval: a large majority support AI-based measures that have more of an effect on the collective, such as searching for a vaccine, detecting an outbreak, and predicting how the virus will spread”. However, the data also show that public approval drops as the potential areas of applying AI move closer into people’s private sphere, or when AI is to be used to solve existential questions. However, every fourth respondent would still allow AI to be used to calculate the survival chances of individual patients. And one in five would agree in principle for AI to be used to make a recommendation for the priorities of patient treatment.

The Opinion Monitor Artificial Intelligence [MeMo:KI] is conducting a fortnightly survey to record developments in how people view artificial intelligence. [MeMo:KI] is a joint project of the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) in Bochum and the department of media and communication studies at the University of Düsseldorf, and is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Besides the regular survey of 1000 randomly selected people, there is also a semi-automatic evaluation of how the German media covers the issue. The results of both surveys are freely available to the public. “We prepare the results of our research in an online format with interactive graphics and tables so that all interested people can see for themselves how society and the media deal with the issue of artificial intelligence”, says Marcinkowski.

The current evaluation of the survey and further information on the research project can be found on the project website:

www.cais.nrw/memoki