Opinion Monitor Artificial Intelligence (MeMo:KI) study on the acceptance of artificial intelligence


  Pero Dosenovic M. A. 

Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

Opinion Monitor Artificial Intelligence (MeMo:KI) study on the acceptance of artificial intelligence: Only a few fear losing their job as a result of AI

Bochum and Düsseldorf, 9 November 2020

The Opinion Monitor Artificial Intelligence [MeMo:KI] has been surveying 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, and what are their fears? The last survey focused on the question of how people view the influence of artificial intelligence on the world of work.

People expect there to be little change in their own working environment in the medium term. Those who do expect change clearly distinguish between different aspects of working life: while AI is seen to be positive regarding safety at work, requirements to have necessary skills, and workload, most expect difficulties when it comes to maintaining social contacts, income trends, and involvement in decision-making at work. “Fears are particularly great regarding how data are used and the potential for monitoring at the workplace. But only a very few people fear that they or someone close to them will lose their job, or that there will be mass unemployment”, says study director Prof. Dr. Frank Marcinkowski.

Most changes are expected in data security and skills requirements. However, only a small proportion of those surveyed are aware of the potential that AI has for triggering change – for those involved in the study, this means that trade unions and other employee groups should sensitize those whom they represent to the potential changes beyond possible job losses that AI can bring about. Similar to the potential for change, a much smaller proportion of respondents have fears in most areas when it comes to the influences wrought by a stronger AI domination of the working world. Few are concerned about job security or an increased workload, but the picture is different when it comes to the risk of monitoring and the transparency of personal data, where 40% and 50% of those in employment fearing negative consequences respectively.

The current evaluation of the survey can be found in Factsheet No. 3: Artificial intelligence in the world of work.


About the project:

The Opinion Monitor Artificial Intelligence [MeMo:KI] is conducting a survey every two weeks to record developments in how people view AI, with the results being published every month on the project homepage of MeMo:KI. The Opinion Monitor Artificial Intelligence is a joint project of the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) in Bochum and 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.

Text: Dr. Victoria Meinschäfer (University of Düsseldorf)

To the University of Düsseldorf’s press release