# Jones-Skiena Public Opinion of Artificial Intelligence Dashboard

#### 2020-11-30 Update

-- Dr. Jason Jeffrey Jones -- @jasonjones_jjj

-- Dr. Steven Sol Skiena -- @stevenskiena

## Support for the Development of Artificial Intelligence

We deliver the following item every week to a random, representative sample of 100 Americans:*How much do you oppose or support the development of Artificial Intelligence?*

The mean response per week and a linear trend are presented below.

#### Interpretation

**On average, the American public supports the development of Artificial Intelligence.** In the data from November 26, 2020, the estimated mean response is 4.99, with a 95% confidence interval of 4.71-5.28. On our 7-point scale (labeled "Strongly oppose" at one end and "Strongly support" at the other) a value of 4 indicates indifference, any value below that opposition and any point above support.

**NEW! This marks the highest value since we began the survey in September 2020, and drives the positive slope on the trendline toward statistical significance.** Specifically, the slope estimate is +0.035 per week, p = 0.0935. It remains to be seen whether this reflects a legitimate change in attitudes that will be sustained, or whether this was a turkey- and gadget-induced artifact. (This most recent survey ran on Thanksgiving Thursday through Black Friday.)

We predict this is a holiday artifact and future results will revert toward the mean. Watch this space for an update next week!

## Confidence in Groups using Artificial Intelligence

NEW DATA! Updated 2020-11-30.

We deliver items of the following form every month to a random, representative sample of 100 Americans:*How much confidence would you say you have in <prompt-items> that use Artificial Intelligence systems?*

The mean response per week and a linear trend are presented below.

#### Interpretation

**On average, the American public has middling confidence in groups that use Artificial Intelligence.** There is plenty of room on the scale for respondents to indicate they have less confidence or more, but the responses point to sustained intermediate levels of confidence, or perhaps indifference.

**NEW! One prompt_item (scientists that develop new Artificial Intelligence systems) displays a positive trend reaching toward 95% statistical significance with the newest round of results.** Specifically, the slope estimate of the purple line above is +0.039 per week, p = 0.0599. Like the similarly positive results above, one should keep in mind that this most recent survey ran on Thanksgiving Thursday through Black Friday. However, the other series remained flat, so a "holiday artifact" explanation would have to include a reason why scientists received premium confidence and other groups did not.

We plan to run the next batch of Confidence items Dec 17-18.

The figure below contrasts the means for each prompt item, collapsing across all dates. **One can confidently conclude that Americans place highest confidence in scientists to develop new artificial intelligence systems, followed by medical doctors, companies and government agencies to use these systems.**

## Trust in Artificial Intelligence (Relative to other targets)

We deliver items of the following form every month to a random, representative sample of 100 Americans:*How much trust do you have in <prompt-item> to do the right thing?*

The mean response per week and a linear trend are presented below.

#### Interpretation

**On average, the American public trusts "artificial intelligence algorithms" to do the right thing just a little less than they trust the average American. Americans trust artificial intelligence algorithms more than Congress or the President, but not as much as their best friend.** Pooling the data and weighting to match demographics, we may estimate the following 95% confidence intervals.

prompt_item | Lower (95% CI) | Upper (95% CI) |
---|---|---|

your best friend | 5.97 | 6.20 |

the average American | 3.89 | 4.11 |

artificial intelligence algorithms | 3.60 | 3.88 |

the President | 3.20 | 3.60 |

Congress | 2.59 | 2.89 |

If you were thinking that these trust survey items would have interesting distributions, you'd be right.

**During the period of observation, the magnitude and ordering of trust in these targets has remained stable.** Trendlines are shown to aid the eye, but every slope except that for Congress is not statistically significantly different from zero. (To interpet as you may: slope estimate for Congress is +0.08 per week, p = 0.0173)

## Familiarity with Artificial Intelligence

We deliver items of the following form every month to a random, representative sample of 100 Americans:*How familiar are you with the following computer-related item? <prompt-item>*

The mean response per week and a linear trend are presented below.

#### Interpretation

**On average, the American public self-reports less understanding of Artificial Intellgience terms as compared to other computer terms.** Pooling the data and weighting to match demographics, we may estimate the following 95% confidence intervals.

**During the period of observation, self-reported familiarity has remained stable for most targets.** The standout is "Machine learning." The slope estimate is +0.11 per week, p = 0.00211. The increase in this series is so exceptional and conistent that we believe one should treat this a real phenomenon. Americans report their understanding of machine learning has increased over the past two months. We find it hard to believe this pace will continue, however. We predict the slope will taper as understanding of machine learning approaches the value of artificial intelligence.

These surveys are conducted by Dr. Jason Jeffrey Jones and Dr. Steven Sol Skiena. All raw data is available at this Open Science Foundation repository. Please include proper attribution any time you make use of our work. Read more about the Jones-Skiena Public Opinion of AI Dashboard.