Skip to main content
SearchLoginLogin or Signup

Public Perceptions, Critical Awareness, and Community Discourse on AI Ethics: Evidence from an Online Discussion Forum

Published onDec 06, 2023
Public Perceptions, Critical Awareness, and Community Discourse on AI Ethics: Evidence from an Online Discussion Forum

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly ingrained into society, ethical and regularity concerns become critical. Given the vast array of philosophical considerations of AI ethics, there is a pressing need to understand and balance public opinion and expectations of how AI ethics should be defined and implemented, such that it centers the voice of experts and non-experts alike. As policy and associated efforts grow towards defining and outlining how an agenda for responsible use and deployment of AI is laid out, such public viewpoints became critical to align initiatives aimed at boosting AI literacy and empowering the public to tackle the proliferation of AI use across multiple domains. Given the growing use of online channels as forums of knowledge exchange and peer engagement, this investigation explores a subreddit r/AIethics through a multi-methodological, multi-level approach. A combination of content analysis, network analysis, and sentiment analysis was used to formulate a triangulated methodological toolkit to understand topical dimensions, community structure, and implicit roles that community members assume driving the collective footprint of such forums. The analysis yields six conversational themes, sentiment trends, and emergent roles that elicit narratives associated with expanding implementation, policy, critical literacy, communal preparedness, and increased awareness towards combining technical and social aspects of AI ethics. The analysis informs on how virtual enclaves can become avenues for collective advocacy and enlightenment, with the aim of building a cohesive and collaborative stance toward ethical viewpoints associated with AI. Some content themes elucidate how such discussion forums may help broaden the critical visions associated with ethics, thus expanding the scope and definition of ethical AI. Such insights can help to distill necessary considerations for the practice of AI ethics beyond scholarly traditions and how informal spaces (such as virtual channels) can and should act as avenues of learning, raising critical consciousness, bolstering connectivity, and enhancing narrative agency on AI ethics.

No comments here
Why not start the discussion?