What does the public think about AI?

And why does it matter?

Julia S shared her thoughts about AI with us in a video (watch below).

For the tech community, it can be difficult to gauge how much the public understands about AI development. Are they optimistic? Fearful? Does the average person recognize that their daily life is already impacted by the use of artificial intelligence in dozens of ways?

We wanted to know, so we took to the streets for an enlightening — if not scientifically relevant — survey of our community.

(Turn on subtitles by clicking the “CC” logo in the bottom right corner.)

The answers showed us the full range of understanding and attitudes about AI. We found optimism, skepticism, reasonable concerns, and complete unfamiliarity with the current state of AI.

It was a bit of a wake-up call.

As we wrote in a recent post, we believe transparency is crucial to developing safe, friendly AI. Part of that transparency means keeping the public in the loop, and not letting the AI development community get so insular that we lose touch with the desires and fears of the public concerning daily use of AI.

Transparency emerged as a major concern from the public in a worldwide survey conducted in 2017 by Pegasystems Inc. It found that 88 percent of respondents wanted businesses to be much more transparent about how and when they deploy automated bots.

Transparency in the applications of AI is crucial, but transparency is also necessary in the development of AI.

Our approach to AI keeps transparency front and center. Our patented, innovative data structure allows developers to trace the logical path the machine uses to find answers, and if there is a faulty conclusion, we can fix the exact error that led to it with surgical precision. And our development completely relies on public involvement. Our reasoning engine is meaningless without a robust database of crowdsourced ontologies. If we cannot win the enthusiastic support of the public to collaboratively build out an AI for their own uses, our engine will fail.

Every innovator in the AI community needs to be thinking critically about how to get the public more engaged with AI. We will continue to lead this effort.

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