Humans vs. AI: The Role of Trust, Political Attitudes, and Individual Characteristics on Perceptions About Automated Decision Making Across Europe

Theo Araujo, Anna Brosius, Andreas C. Goldberg, Judith Möller, Claes de Vreese


Automated decision making (ADM) is increasingly prominent in our experiences with communication technologies and more broadly in our society. Understanding what drives individual perceptions of AI is crucial. This study presents the results of a survey across 10 European countries (N = 6,643), confirming trust and political attitudes as general drivers of perceptions of AI, especially in the media sector. Individuals who score higher on institutional trust are more positive about AI for news recommendations and user and content moderation. Conversely, individuals with higher media trust are more negative about AI for news (creation or recommendation). Those leaning toward the right-wing political orientation are more positive about AI for news, whereas those more distant from the political center are more negative about AI—for media-specific tasks and for society more broadly. Sociodemographics, the need for cognition, privacy concerns, and online self-efficacy are also relevant in these evaluations.


artificial intelligence, recommender systems, computational journalism, algorithms, content moderation, user moderation, user perceptions, trust

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