Acceptance of artificial intelligence

Acceptance of artificial intelligence

Our Treedex Case

The presence of artificial intelligence (AI) in everyday life is steadily increasing, while the population is sceptical about the technology.

Reasons for the low acceptance so far are seen in the lack of trust in the new technology and the low understanding of its benefits. In addition, many lack concrete experience with AI in everyday life, which is why the technology is still seen as futuristic.

It is therefore necessary to develop effective measures that promote acceptance and reduce the existing mistrust.

In principle, user acceptance of new technologies can be increased by providing information and making the technology tangible. Clear ideas of their potential should be communicated in order to reduce existing reservations and enable successful use.

The aim of our study was therefore to evaluate the influence of explanations on consumer acceptance of AI applications. For this purpose, we used our plant recognition app Treedex.

Treedex is an AI-based application that aims to educate about what is behind the terms AI and ML and what opportunities this technology offers. One Treedex application enables plant recognition based on a photo of the respective plant. At the same time, Treedex is intended to make it comprehensible how AI works and how a neural network learns over time and becomes increasingly better. For this purpose, during the processing of the image information, it is explained in simple form what is happening at the same time in the background of the app in order to be able to determine the photographed plant.

We tested the extent to which the explanations provided actually promote acceptance of AI with the help of an experimental online study with 299 participants.

Within the study, the provision of additional explanations was manipulated. Both groups receive screenshots on how to use the app, but only one group receives the additional screenshots that show the explanations of the AI's actions during plant recognition.

The explanations provided have been found to be an effective way to increase both acceptance and trust in AI. Applications such as Treedex, which provide their users with knowledge about AI, are thus a way to reduce the existing scepticism towards AI and create an understanding of the advantages and benefits of the technology. Such an application also offers the possibility of making AI tangible in everyday life and eliminating the idea of futuristic novelty.

In addition, the importance of playful effects and a focus on user enjoyment should not be neglected. In the course of our study, we were able to determine that pleasure has a significant influence on the acceptance of AI.

The strong increase of those applications in everyday life emphasises the relevance of the previously discussed findings. At the same time, the importance of further research into the optimal design of AI-based applications is emphasised, in order to be able to take the acceptance of potential users into account as early as the development phase in the future. In this way, it will be possible to exploit the full potential of an AI application.

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