How progressive are data professionals when it comes to AI

12 October 2023
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During dataMinds Connect, a 2 day in-person event in the wonderful city of Mechelen, Belgium, Datashift organised a voting test on AI. The survey sought to uncover the diverse views that people hold regarding various aspects of artificial intelligence. dataMinds Connect, as the name might reveal, is an IT related event with a specific focus on the Microsoft Data Platform. Visitors of the event are mostly professionals with deep insights in the world of data and are generally up to date on the latest progressions in the world of artificial intelligence. The responses provided a comprehensive snapshot of what these visitors think about AI's present and future role in their lives.

Survey Results at a Glance

From the 600 visitors, a total of 109 attendees participated in the survey, each providing insights into their AI perspectives. The results were categorized into three distinct groups: progressive, conservative, and centralist. But behind the 3 categories is a rich tapestry of opinions.

We don’t want to share personal data with AI

A significant majority (73.15%) expressed a preference for limiting personal data shared to essential information. However more than a quarter is comfortable with sharing extensive personal data in favour of an enhanced AI experience. This aligns with an overarching emphasis on data privacy, with 56.56% favouring strict data privacy regulations, even if it restricts AI capabilities.

Decisions by humans... and we want to understand the robots

An impressive 69.44% believe AI should provide suggestions but consider final decisions the domain of humans. This reflects a desire to retain human control in crucial decision-making processes. The decision making process tends to be more AI conservative. Also more conservative were the votes on AI regulations. A substantial majority (66.67%) advocated for strict regulations and oversight in AI development and deployment. A substantial 59.26% of respondents demanded complete transparency in AI algorithms, emphasizing the importance of understanding AI decision-making.

Where the AI opportunities lie

Healthcare emerged as a beacon of AI hope, as a category where AI is believed to create big impact with 90.74% supporting AI's role in achieving faster and more accurate diagnoses and treatments. Only 9 % see it as a potential threat. Also a striking 85.19% saw AI as an opportunity to create new job roles and enhance work efficiency, mitigating concerns about job displacement. Education also drew a positive response, with 79.63% acknowledging AI's potential to revolutionize education by offering personalized learning experiences. Only few thinks it may hinder human interaction. Opinions were divided on AI-driven surveillance, with 52.78% opposing extensive use due to privacy and civil liberty concerns, and 47.22% seeing potential in enhancing public safety.

While concerns existed (46.30%) regarding bias in AI algorithms, 53.70% believed in AI's potential to minimize bias and unlock its benefits. Overall the opportunities overshadowed the risks according to voters.

The end results are... progressive

The survey results unveil a complex and varied landscape of opinions at dataMinds Connect, concerning artificial intelligence. While the majority leans towards progressive views, more open to general AI adoption (41.67%), there's a notable emphasis on safeguarding data privacy, ensuring transparency, and maintaining human control. The AI conservatives took 33.33% of the votes and exactly a quarter landed in the middle as an AI centralist.

Do the test yourself and find out if you are AI conservative or AI progressive

This diverse tapestry of beliefs reflects the global dialogue on AI, and these insights should guide the development of AI policies and technologies to strike a balance between AI's transformative potential and the values and concerns of the people it serves.

To dive deeper into the complete survey results and gain a more profound understanding of dataMinds perspective on AI, sign up to our October newsletter where we will share an interactive Power BI dashboard with complete results.