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SAS, a Germany-based analytics and AI software solutions company, has created an index on the general acceptance on the part of the public of artificial intelligence.  

Artificial intelligence is a hot topic. On the one hand, it is seen as a source of hope: a driver of competition and innovation. It offers targeted solutions in healthcare and more efficient modes of transportation. But AI also evokes fear. It is seen as a job destroyer and opens up the possibility for security risks.

Companies such as Bitkom and KPMG already conduct regular surveys on this topic. But how does the climate of opinion develop in the long term over time? This is exactly what the “Trust in AI Index” from SAS shows. The index is based on around 45,000 articles in German-language quality media and around 220,000 tweets on the topic since 2019. It is fully automated with cloud-based platform SAS Viya technology, designed to be fully unbiased without any research designs or pre-assumptions.

Identifying representative statements

SAS updates the index on a monthly basis. In August, AI was mentioned around 1,250 times in the media, which represents a drop of around 40 percent compared with the previous month. The average score fell slightly by five percent to 51, corresponding to a neutral assessment with a slight positive trend. A score of 0 would correspond to exclusively negative coverage, and 100 would be completely positive coverage.

“A challenging task in this project was to create a database that allows representative statements – this requires special care in data cleansing and preparation. Another challenge in calculating the index is ironic statements, for example, which an algorithm does not always reliably detect in very short statements such as tweets,” explains Moritz Rüsch, Senior Consultant Analytics at SAS DACH.

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