Chapter 11: Fearing the future: examining the conditional indirect correlation of attention to artificial intelligence news on artificial intelligence attitudes
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing industries globally. It is also having both positive and negative effects on society. People often learn about technology through media, and so news about AI could have significant impacts on public perceptions of AI. Employing agenda-setting theory, we explore associations between attention to AI news and attitudes about AI. Results of a survey suggest attention to AI news content is associated with perceived economic risks associated with AI. Higher levels of perceived economic risk were associated with greater fear tied to AI. Higher levels of fear were associated with holding more negative perceptions of AI but only among people with lower incomes. We found a negative indirect association between attention to AI news content and negative perceptions of AI through perceived AI risk and fear in serial mediation. This negative indirect association was stronger among people with lower incomes. We discuss the potential effects of media on the public understanding of AI.

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