Will Artificial Intelligence End Civilization?

Lero and University College Cork are conducting a ten-minute survey to understand public opinions on AI and software, focusing on concerns such as biases and ethical implications. The study aims to highlight the public’s role in driving responsible AI development.

Researchers are conducting a public survey to gauge opinions on artificial intelligence (AI) and software in general, aiming to better understand public perceptions, fears, and hopes about AI’s impact on society.

Will artificial intelligence (AI) end civilization? Researchers at Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software and University College Cork, are seeking help determining what the public believes and knows about AI and software more generally.

Psychologist Dr. Sarah Robinson, a senior postdoctoral researcher with Lero, is asking members of the public to take part in a ten-minute anonymized online survey to establish what peoples’ hopes and fears are for AI and software in general.

“As the experts debate, little attention is given to what the public thinks – and the debate is raging. Some AI experts express concern that others prioritize imagined apocalyptic scenarios over immediate concerns – such as racist and sexist biases being programmed into machines. As software impacts all our lives, the public is a key stakeholder in deciding what being responsible for software should mean. So, that’s why we want to find out what the public is thinking,” added the UCC-based researcher.

Dr. Robinson said that, for example, human rights abuses are happening through AI and facial recognition software.

“Research by my Lero colleague Dr. Abeba Birhane and others found that data used to train some AI is contaminated with racist and misogynist language. As AI becomes widespread, the use of biased data may lead to harm and further marginalization for already marginalized groups.

“While there is a lot in the media about AI, especially ChatGPT, and what kind of world it is creating, there is less information about how the public perceives the software all around us, from social media to streaming services and beyond. We are interested in understanding the public’s point of view ­– what concerns the public have, what are their priorities in terms of making software responsible and ethical, and the thoughts and ideas they have to make this a reality?” outlined Dr. Robinson.

Participants in the survey will be asked for their views and possible concerns on a range of issues and topics, with the hope of clarifying their views on critical issues. Lero is asking members of the public to donate 10 minutes of their time for this short survey.

Kiran Fernandes

Kiran is your friendly neighbourhood tech enthusiast who's passionate about all kinds of tech, goes crazy over 4G and 5G networks, and has recently sparked an interest in sci-fi and cosmology.

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