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We Mostly Think Alike: Individual Differences in Attitude Towards AI in Sweden and Japan

Anders Persson (), Mikael Laaksoharju and Hiroshi Koga ()
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Anders Persson: Uppsala University
Mikael Laaksoharju: Uppsala University
Hiroshi Koga: Kansai University

The Review of Socionetwork Strategies, 2021, vol. 15, issue 1, 123-142

Abstract: Abstract Attitudes towards artificial intelligence (AI) and social robots are often depicted as different in Japan, compared to other western countries, such as Sweden. Several different reasons for why there are general differences in attitudes have been suggested. In this study, five hypotheses based on previous literature were investigated. Rather than attempting to establish general differences between groups, subjects were sampled from the respective populations, and correlations between the hypothesized confounding factors and attitudes were investigated within the groups between individuals. The hypotheses in this exploratory study concerned: (H1) animistic beliefs in inanimate objects and phenomena, (H2) worry about unemployment due to AI deployment, (H3) perceived positive or negative portrayal of AI in popular culture, (H4) familiarity with AI, and (H5) relational closeness and privacy with AI. No clear correlations between attitudes and animistic belief (H1), or portrayal of AI in popular culture (H3) could be observed. When it comes to the other attributes, worry about unemployment (H2), familiarity with AI (H4), and relational closeness and privacy (H5), the correlations were similar for the individuals in both groups and in line with the hypotheses. Thus, the general picture following this exploratory study is that individuals in the two populations are more alike than different.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence; Psychological attitude; Cultural comparison; Social robotics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s12626-021-00071-y

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