Global Governance, Technology Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence: Evidence from a Survey of Machine Learning Researchers

August 3, 2021
By Baobao Zhang, Markus Anderljung, Lauren Kahn, Naomi Dreksler, Michael C. Horowitz, and Allan Dafoe| Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) researchers play an important role in the ethics and governance of AI, including through their work, advocacy, and choice of employment. Nevertheless, this influential group’s attitudes are not well understood, undermining our ability to discern consensuses or disagreements between AI/ML researchers. To examine these researchers’ views, we conducted a survey of those who published in two top AI/ML conferences (N = 524). We compare these results with those from a 2016 survey of AI/ML researchers (Grace et al., 2018) and a 2018 survey of the US public (Zhang & Dafoe, 2020). We find that AI/ML researchers place high levels of trust in international organizations and scientific organizations to shape the development and use of AI in the public interest; moderate trust in most Western tech companies; and low trust in national militaries, Chinese tech companies, and Facebook. 

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