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WSMD? JA! Who perceives risk in Artificial Intelligence & why?.. Well, here's a start

shit ...

This is approximately the 470,331st episode in the insanely popular CCP series, "Wanna see more data? Just ask!," the game in which commentators compete for world-wide recognition and fame by proposing amazingly clever hypotheses that can be tested by re-analyzing data collected in one or another CCP study. For "WSMD?, JA!" rules and conditions (including the mandatory release from defamation claims), click here.

How would you feel if I handed over the production of this Blog (including the drafting of each entry) to an artificially intelligent agent? (Come to think of it, how do you know I didn’t do this months or even years ago?)

I can’t answer with nearly the confidence that I’d like, but having looked more closely at some data, I think I know about 1500% more, and even better 1500% less,  about who fears artificial intelligence, who doesn’t, & why.

The data analysis was peformed in response to an WSMD? JA! query by @RossHartshorn, who asked:


In a follow up email, @Ross offered up his own set of the hypotheses, thereby furnishing me with a working conjecture to try to test with CCP data.

In all of the models that follow, I use the “Industrial Strength Risk Perception Measure” (ISRPM)—because that’s all I have got & because having that definitely gives me a  pretty damn good divining rod should I care to go out hunting for even more relevant data in future studies.

The story that the Figure above is trying to sell, essentially, is that, on their own, scores on the Ordinary Science Intelligence (OSI) assessment; on religiosity (measured with items on frequency of church attendance, frequency of prayer, and imporrtance of religion for life-- α =0.86); and on a right-left political outlook scale don't have much of a relationship with public perceptions of AI risks. 

But @Ross didn’t posit that these influences would have much impact “on their own.”  He predicted there’d be a likely interaction—that is, that each might exert some impact conditional on the level of the other.

This is what your brain looks like on polarizationThat’s an easy proposition to test w/ a regression model that contains the relevant predictors and their cross-product interaction term.

I also stuck Ordinary Science Intelligence into the mix because it seemed to me that it might interact, too, with the identity values—something that might suggest MS2R was afoot and possibly generating results that might support. (Sure wish the relevant dataset had the Science Curiosity Scale in it...)


So this is what that model tell us is going on, at least in this dataset.  (& yes, I did try to fit a model with a quadratic term for OSI--to try to catch its apparent nonlinearity in the Loess figure; it didn't improve the model fit.)

There’s no interaction between political outlook and religiosity.  Nor any between political outlooks conditional on either religiosity or OSI scores.

But religiosity and OSI do interact. Consider: