Context is fundamental in how one react to artificial intelligence

Normally we think that our attitude toward ethical issues is absolute, or in other words it is not dependent of the context in which we find ourselves. Furthermore, one tends to think that we have quite a constant attitude toward specific issues, or in other words we think we react in the same way when dealing with specific issues, regardless of the context.

This is a common misconception that is not reflected at all by what we are observing in FANTAS.IA. We have learned that depending on what is happening around us, we are more or less likely to accept decisions that would not be, in other situations, ethically acceptable. It is interesting to observe that participants tend to change their minds quite often during the survey, switching from a positive attitude toward AI to negative one (or vice versa).

Of the 424 participants we have so far, 28% changed their minds 3 times during the survey, and 29% two times. Changing his or her own mind, means to change attitude toward AI from a negative to a positive one (or vice versa). You can see the exact percentages in the figure below.

change_of_mind

We may not like this, but our decisions are heavily influenced by the situations we are in when we take them.

 

We may not like this, but our decisions are heavily influenced by the situations we are in when we take them.

 

That means that we, as a society, must be very careful when asking a large population to take a decision, for example in a referendum. Explaining things and giving specific contexts will have a very strong influence!

In case you are interested in learning more about this topics, you can check this nice review by J.S. Lerner, „Emotion and decision making“

https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/jenniferlerner/files/annual_review_manuscript_june_16_final.final_.pdf

where many interesting topics are discussed in details. An additional reference to read, by C. Dietrich, that is really interesting about this topic is

http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/180/decision-making-factors-that-influence-decision-making-heuristics-used-and-decision-outcomes

Let us know in the comments what your opinion is about this topic.

 

How can we make sure that we don’t influence people by giving them a context that is favourable to our own attitude toward a specific issue? How can we be fair and take the right decisions?