A new study seeks to understand public perception about artificial intelligence (AI) and software in general. The online survey aims to gather insights into people’s hopes, fears, and general sentiments towards AI.
Researchers at Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software and University College Cork, are actively seeking input to gauge the public’s beliefs and knowledge about AI and software in general.
Dr. Sarah Robinson, a distinguished postdoctoral psychologist and researcher with Lero, is inviting members of the public to participate in a brief, anonymous online survey. The aim is to understand people’s hopes and concerns regarding AI and software on a broader scale.
While experts engage in heated debates, little attention has been given to the perspectives of the public – a crucial stakeholder in determining responsible software practices. Some AI experts are worried that the focus on apocalyptic scenarios overshadows immediate issues, such as biased programming that perpetuates racism and sexism within machines.
Given the significant impact of software in all aspects of our lives, it is essential to consider public opinions when defining what it means to be responsible for software. Thus, the research aims to unveil the thoughts and beliefs of the general public on this matter, as highlighted by the UCC-based researcher.
For instance, Dr. Robinson pointed out how AI and facial recognition software have been linked to human rights abuses. Research conducted by her Lero colleague, Dr. Abeba Birhane, and others, revealed that some AI training data contains racist and misogynistic language. The use of biased data in widespread AI applications may exacerbate harm and marginalization for already vulnerable groups.
Despite the abundance of media coverage on AI, including popular technologies like ChatGPT, there is a scarcity of information about how the public perceives the software that surrounds us daily – from social media platforms to streaming services and beyond.
Hence, this study is driven by the desire to comprehend the public’s concerns, priorities, and ideas about making software more responsible and ethically sound, transforming aspirations into reality.