People who have experienced discrimination have stronger views on AI and online data use
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The World Risk Poll reveals that discrimination plays a key role in people’s thoughts about AI and data misuse. People who have experienced discrimination are more likely to have an opinion on the social impact AI has now, and in the future. Plus, they have a greater concern about theft and misuse of their personal data.
At a global level, people who say they have experienced discrimination based on their race/nationality, skin, colour, or gender are evenly split between those that think AI will ‘mostly help’ (35%) or ‘mostly harm’ (35%) people in their country in the next 20 years.
Those people who have not experienced such discrimination are similarly split (33% ‘mostly help’ vs. 32% ‘mostly harm’), however they are more likely to say they have no opinion or do not know than those who have experienced discrimination (32% vs. 27%, respectively).
Discrimination and AI at a regional level
The Poll data shows that in some countries, experiences of discrimination are associated with more negative views about AI. In 16 countries, the percentage of people saying AI will mostly harm people in their country is at least 10 points higher among those who have experienced discrimination based on their race/nationality, skin colour or gender, than among those who have not.
This includes three Scandinavian countries – Norway (where experience of discrimination increases the ‘mostly harm’ response from 14% to 26%), Denmark (from 15% to 26%), and Sweden (from 11% to 21%) – where overall perceptions of AI are nevertheless among the most positive in the world.
Other countries with differences of at least 10 percentage points are Afghanistan, Mauritius, Slovakia, Ecuador, Vietnam, Peru, Israel, Turkey, Mexico, Nicaragua, Morocco, South Africa, and Switzerland.
The World Risk Poll results suggest that as awareness of the potential for discrimination in AI models becomes more prevalent, many people who have experienced discrimination may feel threatened by the technology. This will have an impact on trust — particularly in countries where technology use is expanding rapidly in domains that directly affect people’s lives.
The risk is that people who have experienced discrimination are further disadvantaged, as they are less likely to access the potential benefit of these technologies than people who haven’t experienced discrimination.
Policymakers in these countries face the challenge of addressing such concerns without stifling the innovation needed to realise the full potential of AI-driven applications and use of personal data.
Experience of discrimination galvanises people’s thoughts about AI.
People who experience multiple forms of discrimination are 5 percentage points more likely to have an opinion on whether AI helps or harms.
Experiences with discrimination linked to greater concern about misuse of personal data
Globally, the more forms of discrimination people have experienced – whether because of their ethnicity, gender, religion, or disability – the more likely they are to worry about the harmful misuse of their personal information online, whether that’s by their government, criminals, or private companies, than those who have not experienced such discrimination.
The proportion of internet users worldwide ‘very worried’ about their personal information being stolen online rises from 42% of those who have not experienced discrimination, to 46% of those who have experienced one form of discrimination, to more than half (54%) of those who have experienced two or more forms of discrimination.
Experience of discrimination plays a role in people’s worry about personal data misuse.
54% of those who have experienced
multiple forms of discrimination are very worried about their personal data being stolen online, compared with 42% who have not.
Those who have experienced two or more forms of discrimination based on their gender, ethnic group, or skin colour.
Views about AI and personal data misuse based on gap between people who have experienced discrimination and those that have not.
Do you think artificial intelligence will mostly HELP or mostly HARM people in this country in the next 20 years?
Have you, personally, ever experienced any discrimination because of any of the following? The colour of your skin; your ethnic group;