A study in Al and Ethics has published people’s concerns about using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in a wide range of fields. People across Japan, Germany and the US were observed and were found to have different concerns over the use of AI in everyday life.
The study observes the use of AI technology in areas such as entertainment, shopping services and helping to find criminals.
In Japan, people tended to report more concern about AI used to fight crime. Alternatively, it was found that Germans and Americans tended to report more concern over the ethical and social aspects of using AI in entertainment.
What is AI technology and where is it used?
AI is a universal and advanced technology. It involves the use of machines that mimic and display cognitive human skills, such as learning and problem-solving. Examples of AI include self-driving cars and machines that understand human speech.
It is currently being used differently across the world and has received both positive and negative reviews.
Countries each have their own ethics policy when it comes to AI. In Japan, guidelines state that the use of AI needs to be regulated to decrease people’s concerns. However, in the US, they emphasise the need to maximise the social benefits of AI.
The differing attitudes towards AI between countries was recognised by researchers and they say understanding these differences are ‘increasingly important’ before deploying new forms of AI technology.
“We found there is a difference in the AI and ethical, social and legal levels of understanding between countries. I think it will become important to carry out thorough discussions about the legal and policy issues surrounding AI,” said Yuko Ikkatai, Associate Professor at Kanazawa University.
How was the study carried out?
Online surveys were performed in Japan, Germany and the US. They asked people to consider social, ethical and legal issues of AI technology when looking at scenarios and answering questions. Scenarios included looking at the use of AI technology for singers, customer purchases and the prediction of criminal activities.
Around 1000 respondents from each country were chosen, which reflected their country’s population for age, gender and location.
After analysing their results, the researchers were able to separate responses into four groups: people with optimistic views, people with negative views, people concerned about legal issues, and those not concerned about legal issues.
Results of the survey
Older respondents were found to be the most concerned about the ethical and social issues of AI technology, whereas those more familiar with AI were more worried about legal implications.
Concerns also varied across the three countries surveyed. In regard to using AI technology for shopping purposes, respondents in Germany were most concerned about ethical issues. In Japan, legal issues associated with AI were the biggest concern.
In the US, respondents were concerned about the social, ethical and legal issues of using AI technology to predict criminal activity.
Tilman Hartwig, Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo Institute for Physics of Intelligence, concluded: “It is exciting that we can segment the replies so clearly into four groups, and the most distinctive feature is the perception of AI legal issues. This is robust amongst the three countries and shows that communication about AI-related laws and policies is very important.”