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Fear of discrimination by AI in economic matters

Schaubild: MeMo:KI: KI und Diskriminierung Zoom

MeMo:KI: KI und Diskriminierung

Since the beginning of May, the Meinungsmonitor Künstliche Intelligenz [MeMo:AI] has been examining the attitude of the population towards AI issues every two weeks. How intensively do citizens deal with this technology? Where do they see applications, what are their fears? In the focus of the last survey: The concerns of citizens about discrimination by Artificial Intelligence.

Booking flights, shopping on the Internet, allocating study places - AI can be used in all these areas. How citizens assess their use, whether they fear discrimination, depends very much on the individually estimated consequences. For example, while people fear discrimination, i.e. unequal treatment, when it comes to individual pricing, most people assume that the use of AI in the social and educational sector has a rather positive effect.

Discrimination by AI has been attracting considerable attention from politicians and academics for years. However, the data show that the issue is only moderately present in society: Only slightly more than a quarter of those surveyed see discrimination by AI systems as a relevant risk. "However, when citizens are asked directly whether the use of AI leads to more or less discrimination in individual application areas, the majority of applications tend to expect greater discrimination - especially in areas that have individual economic consequences," says study leader Prof. Dr. Frank Marcinkowski. At the same time, the majority of the German population considers most of the proposed EU directives to be effective in preventing discrimination by AI. Interestingly, the measures that should be implemented most urgently from the perspective of those surveyed are those that call for stronger regulation of technology and the economy. The fundamental willingness for the more European path towards a people-centered and public-interest oriented AI is therefore quite evident - although the awareness of the discriminatory effects of AI systems is still relatively low.
About the project:

Within the framework of [MeMo:KI], the development of public opinion on artificial intelligence is documented by a survey repeated every two weeks. The results of the surveys are published monthly on the project homepage. The [MeMo:KI] is a joint project of the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) in Bochum and the HHU 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 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 can be found here:

Further information:



Autor/in: Victoria Meinschäfer/ Kimon Kieslich
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