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MeMo:KI study about acceptance of Artificial Intelligence

Just on Corona question: More and more approval of AI applications

Since the beginning of May, the Opinion Monitor Artificial Intelligence [MeMo:KI] has been investigating the public's attitude to AI issues every fortnight.

6. July 2020

How intensively do citizens engage with this technology? Where do they see areas of application? How should AI be used to combat the Corona pandemic, for example? And does the attitude of political parties towards AI applications influence individuals’ voting decisions? The first data make it clear: the positive basic mood towards artificial intelligence continues to brighten, especially in times of crisis.

“At the same time, citizens have quite differentiated judgements about individual applications,” emphasises study leader Prof. Dr. Frank Marcinkowski (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Institute for Social Sciences). “Especially the use of AI in medical anti-corona research finds great approval: AI-based measures that more strongly affect the collective, such as the search for active agents, the detection of an outbreak as well as the prediction of the spread of the virus, are supported by a large majority.” However, the data also show that the population’s approval drops when the potential areas of application of AI move closer to people’s private sphere or existential questions are to be clarified by AI. However, one in four respondents would still allow AI to calculate the survival chances of individual patients. And one in five respondents would agree in principle to AI being used to recommend treatment priorities for patients.

As part of the [MeMo:KI], the development of the population’s opinion on AI is documented by a survey repeated every two weeks. MeMo:KI is a joint project of the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) and Media and Communication Studies at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition to the regular survey of 1000 randomly selected citizens, there is also a semi-automatic evaluation of German media coverage on the topic. 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 citizens can see for themselves how society and the media deal with the topic 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.

Dr. Esther Laukötter

Scientific Communication


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